Microsoft is living up to its old Edge-promoting tricks too insistently, according to a new report.
Neowin (opens in a new tab) relays a story of being nagged for using the Microsoft browser with a small pop-up followed by a rather jarring full-size banner when trying to download rival browser Chrome.
We should note upfront that this happened in Edge test builds, and Neowin updated their post to say that only the beta (not Canary or Dev) now does this when trying to install of Chrome.
What exactly happens when you try to access Google’s browser in this case? First, when you visit the Chrome site, a mini popup appears as mentioned, and we just tried in the final version of Edge to confirm that it happens there as well.
It’s a relatively inconspicuous nag compared to the second full-size banner at the top of the browser window, the latter being the one that only appears in testing (just the beta now, as noted). This makes its presence felt when the Chrome download starts.
Both panels tell you that Edge uses the same technology as Chrome (namely Chromium), but with the “additional confidence of Microsoft”, with a button prompting you to “Browse Safely Now” and use Edge rather than download and switch to Chrome.
Analysis: There is no place like Edge…
As Neowin points out, this may have been testing done on a limited set of Edge users, and it looks like testing has been scaled back now (although it’s still in beta – for now).
Nonetheless, it’s a worrying move on Microsoft’s part to double down on the harassment with a second, bigger banner; as if getting the message once wasn’t quite enough, thank you.
Although Google also invites people to use its Chrome browser on occasion, it does so from its own turf (the search engine site itself) and certainly does not try to muscle in when it detects that you’re visiting a competing browser’s webpage to potentially download that client and default, so to speak.
Microsoft seems to be on another big push to kickstart Edge adoption, as recently we’ve been witnessing some shenanigans on the mobile front as well. Those using the Outlook app on iOS have seen pop-ups trying to trick them into opening links and attachments in Edge rather than Safari (or whatever browser the iOS user may have chosen).
By now, we’re no doubt all tired of these sorts of attempts – which we might add have been seen before – to increase Edge’s market share, and we really wish Microsoft would drop the stick of nag and tries more carrot oriented approach.
For example, Edge is getting its own free (albeit limited) VPN service that rolls out as we type, and that’s where Microsoft should be hoping to gain some share – by continually improving the browser, whether through to new features, or better performance (or even both). Do enough, and eventually users will come as word of mouth spreads.
Do too much of what looks like sneaky harassment — even if it’s in testing — and it won’t drive adoption, it will only scare people away.
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