Microsoft Aims to Make Google Chrome Safer With New Extension

April 18, 2018, 5:50 PM UTC

The bitter browser war between Microsoft and Google is still in full swing.

Microsoft recently launched an extension designed for Google Chrome called Windows Defender Browser Protection. The extension, which is available for free, claims to protect users “against online threats, like phishing and malicious websites.” It achieves that by using the Microsoft real-time protection features the company bakes into its Edge browser. Technology news site ArsTechnica earlier reported on the extension.

To be clear, Google’s Chrome is a safe browser in its own right and comes with a variety of features aimed at protecting users. And, like the Microsoft extension, Google Chrome has features built in that tell users when they’ve gone to a malicious website or have clicked on a link that could download malware onto their computers.

But Microsoft argues its service is better than what users would get from Chrome. In a bid to prove that, according to ArsTechnica, Microsoft pointed to a report from security firm NSS Labs that found its Edge browser blocked 99% of phishing attacks in its testing. Google Chrome, on the other hand, stopped 87% of intrusions, according to the report.

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ArsTechnica’s technology editor Peter Bright said that he installed the extension in his Chrome browser. While he couldn’t verify that it actually made his Web browsing safer, he noted that the extension runs in tandem with Google’s built-in security features. Therefore, having both might actually make for a safer browsing experience if they’re each plugging the holes that would otherwise let malware through.

Still, Microsoft clearly believes that its security solution is better than that in Google Chrome — an opinion that likely won’t make folks at Google too happy. In one of the screenshots describing its extension, Microsoft said that its service offers “better protection” for users. The company stopped short of saying, however, that it was directly comparing its extension to Chrome’s own security features.

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