What you need to know
- Vivaldi will now pretend to be Microsoft Edge to allow people to use Bing Chat within the browser.
- At the moment, Bing Chat is only available in Microsoft Edge, but Vivaldi 6.1 can get around that limitation.
- Vivaldi has implemented a similar setup to ensure compatibility by masquerading as Google Chrome.
Bing Chat is one of the hottest pieces of tech right now. The AI-powered chatbot uses OpenAI's GPT-4 and Bing to provide answers to a variety of prompts and questions. Officially, it's only possible to use Bing Chat through Microsoft Edge. That changed this week with the rollout of Vivaldi 6.1
While Microsoft has not officially added support for Vivaldi, or any non-Edge browser, the makers of Vivaldi have implemented a workaround. The browser will change its User-Agent strings to pretend to be Microsoft Edge, allowing people to use Bing Chat within Vivaldi.
Since Vivaldi is a Chromium-based browser, it uses the same underlying tech as Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome, but that doesn't mean all websites play nicely with it.
User-Agent strings tell a website which browser and operating system a user is on. These can be used to ensure compatibility, but they can also be used to block access to websites. For example, some websites only work with Google Chrome. Drivers can also be optimized for specific browsers.
When Vivaldi masquerades as another browser, it can take advantage of optimizations and allow users to access any site that works on another browser within Vivaldi.
With Vivaldi pretending to be Edge, both the desktop and Android versions of Vivaldi can access Bing Chat.
Vivaldi will not have to pretend to be Edge forever. Microsoft's Mikhail Parakhin confirmed that support for Bing Chat will roll out to other browsers gradually. But until that happens, Vivaldi's User-Agent string workaround will provide another way to access Bing Chat.
As a quick reminder, it's also possible to use Bing Chat on any browser you'd like with an extension.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.