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Microsoft’s anti-Chrome shenanigans now appear as pop-ups inside Edge

For far too long, Microsoft’s browsers (read: Internet Explorer) was used for the sole purpose of downloading Chrome by a majority of Windows users. While Microsoft has been focussing on developing Edge and making it a useable browser, thanks in part to switching over to the Chromium engine, Edge still lags in terms of users compared to Chrome.

As part of its campaign to get more users on board, Microsoft has made it difficult for the user to change their default browser in Windows 11 and make sure that search results from the taskbar open in Edge (and searched by Bing) regardless of the default browser. 

Now, Microsoft is showing anti-Chrome pop-ups on Google’s download page for the browser. The pop up includes a reminder that Edge functions on the same engine as Chrome, except with the added “trust of Microsoft”, suggesting that Edge might be safer than the alternative. 

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On the bleeding Edge?

These pop-ups appear when using Bing as a search engine. Even a search query as simple as ‘browser’ reminds users that they’re already browsing in Edge. 

When searching for Chrome on Bing, you’ll be greeted by another message reminding you that there’s no need to download a new web browser.

Alternatively, you might see a Microsoft Edge card with the following message: “Microsoft Edge is the only browser recommended by Microsoft for a fast, secure, and modern web experience. Edge is the best performing browser on Windows 10, and it has built-in tools to help keep your data safe.”

These pop-ups aren’t website notifications either; they’re rendered natively inside Edge. While we were not able to see any pop-ups on the Chrome download page, Neowin did. The prompts included messages like:

  • Microsoft Edge runs on the same technology as Chrome, with the added trust of Microsoft.
  • “I hate saving money.” said no one ever. Microsoft Edge is the best browser for online shopping.
  • That browser is so 2008. Do you know what’s new? Microsoft Edge. 

The company has been forcing users into using Edge using Windows updates in the past as well. These prompts are coming over three years after Microsoft started testing ways to warn Windows 10 users not to download alternative browsers, including Chrome and Firefox. While these tests were never rolled out to the public, these prompts are now starting to appear worldwide for Windows users. 

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