Last week, we reported on a Microsoft Edge error that was resulting in the browser crashing when Google was set as the default search engine. This would occur when a user would type something into the address bar.
There was a quick fix available, just don't use Google as the default search. However, Microsoft also acted quickly and rolled a patch out to fix the issue within hours. Still, despite the fix, the company did not say what was the cause of the problem in Microsoft Edge.
That's changed this week as Microsoft has taken to Reddit to explain the issue. It seems the flaw was triggered by an unrecognized token in the search suggestions JSON. Microsoft says it worked with Google directly and the company rolled back to an earlier version of Google Search on Edge to solve the issue.
Microsoft's Full Explanation
“The Microsoft Edge team wanted to provide some clarity on this incident.
On July 30th, around 3:40pm Pacific, we were alerted to a crash affecting our Stable channel. It was immediately noted that this crash was occurring solely while typing into the address bar, and we quickly alerted the right team members to investigate.
Shortly after, we found that turning off search suggestions or switching off Google as the default search engine resolved the crashing issue. This was also noted by the community here on Reddit and Twitter. Our engineers found that an unrecognized token in the search suggestions JSON was causing the Edge browser to crash when typing in the address bar with Google set as the default search engine. We reached out to our friends at Google to see if they knew of a change that could've affected this. After investigating, they rolled back a recent update to Google's search service to help mitigate the crash on Edge.
Thanks to the swift action on their team, we confirmed the issue was mitigated in Edge around 7:30pm Pacific. To insure we were not blocking the deployment of their changes, we had also rolled out a fix to our Stable channel. Later in the evening, however, we were notified that some users were still experiencing the crash at a much lower rate as the initial crash. After an investigation over Friday night, we found these residual crashes were related to caching of the response on some servers. We released another update to our Stable channel to mitigate the issue in its entirety. Head to edge://settings/help to make sure that you are on the most up-to-date version of Edge Stable which contains these updates: 84.0.522.52.
We are still in the process of rolling out these changes to our Beta and Dev channels and expect them to be in those channels this week.”
As I noted last week, Microsoft was quick to react to this problem. As I suggested, Redmond did not want to waste time as Microsoft Edge is being pushed enterprise users. Microsoft knows most people use Google as a default search. In other words, the company needed to squash this bug fast because it could have affected most Edge users.
The bug led to some conspiracies with users saying Google could be behind the problem to push people to Chrome. Others suggested Microsoft was behind the issue, hoping users would switch to Bing for searches.