back to article Microsoft adds Buy Now, Pay Later financing option to Edge – and everyone hates it

As the festive season approaches, Microsoft has decided to add "Buy Now, Pay Later" financing options to its Edge browser in the US at least. The feature turned up in recent weeks, first in beta and canary versions before it was made available "by default" to all users of Microsoft Edge version 96. The Buy Now, Pay Later ( …

  1. druck Silver badge

    What next?

    Clippy does payday loans?

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: What next?

      "It looks like you're trying to buy something you can't afford. I can help!"

      1. YetAnotherJoeBlow Bronze badge

        Re: What next?

        Sadly they would know, too.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: What next?

      Only if you use it in the daytime when everyone else is working. It also wants to ask if you were involved in an accident that wasn't your fault and that you could be entitled to a substantial settlement.

    3. tmTM

      Re: What next?

      I'm sure all three Edge users were outraged.

      1. cyberdemon Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        The Chromium-based Edge is actually a rather good browser.

        See icon.

        Come on El Reg, that was an expensive mechanical keyboard. Now it's covered in beer along with my screen.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP Era

    I remember the XP era when this kind of scammy pop-up was a 3rd party addon everyone wanted to remove. I thought it was bad enough when I spotted that Edge addon for Sales Offers. But getting in to buy now, pay later deals is bottom scraping in an extreme!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: XP Era

      bottom scraping is a valuable income stream. ANYTHING is, unless proven to eat into this income stream.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: XP Era

        Eating into bottom scraping sounds peculiarly unpleasant.

  3. doublelayer Silver badge

    Kill it now

    This is going to annoy anyone using Edge. If they wanted to erode the set of users still using that browser, this is an effective way to do it. I also can't imagine why they thought this was a good idea. A lot of sites already bother people about these useless payment systems, so they're already facing a lot of competition.

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Kill it now

      I also can't imagine why they thought this was a good idea.

      It is called kickbacks. Corruption, we used to call it in the old days.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Kill it now

      You mean, the 10 users using Edge ?

      1. b0llchit Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Kill it now

        Better, there are 101(2).

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Kill it now

      Why do you think they have removed the ability to switch to a 3rd party browser in Windows 11 and made it hard to do it manually and, even if you do, it still ignores your preferences in some circumstances...

      1. JeffB

        Re: Kill it now

        Windows 10 is no better, when it feels like it. I've lost count of the number of times it has ignored default browser and default PDF reader changes made by the user, sometimes popping up that there is a problem with the chosen PDF reader so it is setting back to default. Since when has the developer of the technology been a problem? (apart from Flash, of course...)

    4. fajensen Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Kill it now

      If they wanted to erode the set of users still using that browser, this is an effective way to do it.

      I think "They" are rather looking forward to being the only paid gate-keeper for a vast array of scammers and scumbags that are strip-mining the vast marketing opportunities presented by all the worlds dum-dums and morons being on the internet. The scammers probably prefer working with a single point-of-service with uptime gurantees and tech support rather than rando PPC (Pills, Porn and Casino) outfits.

      Most of the victims don't even know what "a browser" is, never mind that it is possible installing another one. So, they will use Edge to order their zinc and horse-dewormer and Uncle Bill will get a cut of all the action.

  4. Binraider Silver badge

    Why is any of this a surprise? Their entire business model is built upon monetisation, at any moral expense, of its service provisions. None of this is unknown. MS morality has been as such since day one.

    Perhaps the weirdest part of all is that from a pure capitalist stance, what they do isn't a problem. From an abuse of monopoly stance it is of course another matter entirely.

    Things won't change until consumer and business customers tell them where to go. So, as the average el reg reader are those that can, please for the love of computing, do so.

    1. Pseu Donyme

      re abuse of monopoly

      That's what it looks like. With the history (and likely future) of that sort thing in mind it seems to me that the EU would do well to take an active role in creating alternatives: a relative pittance of public money to prop up existing alternate platforms (most importantly Linux + AOSP) and applications (office and browser, at least) would go a long way, especially combined with a stipulation that public funds may only be spent on compatible hardware and software*.

      The key idea would be to force the existence of actual alternatives, not necessarily forcing their use on the public sector (although, see **); importantly, the alternatives would be available to business and private use as well. If need be complaints of state aid could be dismissed on national security grounds**.

      * say, only PCs capable of running Linux, only phones and tablets with manufacturer supported AOSP as an option; the AOSP part would need supporting services as well, most importantly an alternate app store; desktop and server software would have to available for Linux (i.e. not only Windows or other proprietary OS), apps for AOSP (as well as iOS or Android)

      ** with straight face, even, as this would provide for strategic independence, the lack of which is currently a problem; the potential for snooping might also a be consideration (or at least this is what the US government would seem to insist us to believe when a provider is under the thumb of a foreign power (with Huawei at least))

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm actually laughing. I still remember what Microsoft did in the past. Consumers and users get what they deserve -- so gullible, with a short memory and easy to attract with just a bit of convenience, gimmick features and some marginal "performance" gain.

      I've never run Edge and never will*.

      * Fingers crossed that the employer will not force it down our throats.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        I've even stopped running Windows at home. At work, I still have to, for now.

        My boss is great, he says, I can use any OS I want, as long as it doesn't affect my ability to work... The biggest problem is the telephone software, we have a virtual telephone system with soft-clients. Only Windows and Mac at the current time and I can't install macOS on my ThinkPad...

      2. ThatOne Silver badge

        > I've never run Edge and never will

        Dissidents are why Windows now apparently actively prevents the use of other browsers. Since when do the sheep decide if they want to get fleeced?

    3. big_D Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Disgusting your customers and driving them away is fine, from a capitalist point of view?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re. Disgusting your customers and driving them away is fine

        disgusting - absolutely, bring it on - as long as it earns them more money (pecunia non olet, etc.) As to driving customers away... while the force of indignation is strong with this one, it's very short-lived these days (like with everything) and I'm pretty sure MS are able to calculate whether this or that shitty move drives people away... or not. After all, it's trivial for them to keep this 'feature' or remove it, if 'metrics' give them a readout. And I bet most people demonstrating outrage (dozens? hundreds?) will keep using edge anyway. Disclaimer: I hate MS as much as I hate Google and Facebook and (insert a long list of others) and I hope they will rot in hell.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: re. Disgusting your customers and driving them away is fine

          This is the Ford Pinto school of commerce.

          It doesn't matter what you do as long as the balance sheet benefits.

          [For anyone who hasn't heard the story, in brief, they decided that the cost of law suits by the relatives of survivors was a price worth paying- until Ralph Nader broke the scandal and US courts started awarding punitive damages).

        2. Jonjonz

          Re: re. Disgusting your customers and driving them away is fine

          The break point they care about is do enough chumps use this service to make it profitable, they don't care if 90% of users drop it if they don't contribute revenue.

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        "Disgusting your customers and driving them away"...

        It's a calculation. They probably reckon that most users will carry on as normal, and those are the ones they make money from.

        And they are probably right. It's cynical.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "It's a calculation. They probably reckon that most users will carry on as normal, and those are the ones they make money from."

          Has anyone seen this thing in action? If it's inserting code into a page on the fly, does it screw up the payments page layout? Does it put itself more prominently on the payment options than those of the intended options from the page host, ie is it hijacking the intended option?

    4. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Who said it's surprise?

      It can still be annoying, however.

  5. Smirnov

    the lack of Google was appealing to many

    And yet, when it comes to privacy, Edge is even worse than Chrome:

    https://www.scss.tcd.ie/Doug.Leith/pubs/browser_privacy.pdf

    On top of that, Chrome (as bad as it is) at least never tried to upsell to me as Edge does ("Shopping with Microsoft", really?), and the fact that this stuff even exists in the corporate version of Edge is even worse.

    Quality software from the market leader.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the lack of Google was appealing to many

      "Chrome (as bad as it is) at least never tried to upsell to me" - what rubbish! Google don't need to build this into the browser as it is built intot their entire business operating model. Google ONLY make money out of your data. As bad as they are, at least Microsoft's model is based on selling you stuff - normally anyway, this strikes me as a wheeze from their consumer side - if they try this in the EU with corporates, they are going to get creamed.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The frightening thing is that while the likes of Reg users hate it in practice it'll probably be used a lot. Still, it's good to be reminded why I baled out of using Windows a long time ago.

    1. Death Boffin
      Headmaster

      Down on the Microsoft Farm

      Hay, I think you used the wrong word there. It goes against the grain. Maybe you should winnow through your spell checker. You need to separate the wheat from the chaff..

  7. Howard Sway Silver badge

    It’s deeply shocking this is built into the base Windows OS

    If you're shocked by this, you can't have been paying all that much attention over the past 25 years.

    I suspect that this integration of loan-shark services into the browser is a precursor to broadening out the practice to include payment for "only available as paid cloud service" functionality, followed by the OS itself. A nice way to bilk as many pennies as possible out of poorer people's pockets, under the standard guise of "making it affordable to everyone".

    1. EVP

      Re: It’s deeply shocking this is built into the base Windows OS

      25? I understand that shafting customers has been going on since day one.

      Otherwise you got it right.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: It’s deeply shocking this is built into the base Windows OS

        > shafting customers has been going on since day one

        The difference is that back then, the victims users would at least get some value for it, there was some effort to satisfy users.

        Now that Windows has a solidly established monopoly, MS makes less and less efforts. They won't even buy you a drink, they directly rip your panties off.

  8. cornetman Silver badge

    Given the number of people that get into serious financial problems with debt, pushing credit to people through a web browser is pretty disgusting.

    I assume that the browser somehow knows when the user is underaged of course. Doesn't it?

    1. grizewald

      I truly hope that Microsoft get everything they deserve for promoting loan sharks.

      I didn't think that my opinion of Microsoft could fall any lower than it already was, having watched them for the last 35-odd years, but here we are. Nice way to scrape the bottom of the barrel M$!

      My only hope is that this stunt is something that anyone can understand; it's not a technical issue about interoperability or the deliberate corruption of supposedly standard APIs, this is just bottom feeder manipulation with no regard for the consequences suffered by those manipulated into buying things they can't afford. Surely something like this is blatant enough to really rile up some regulators who actually have sharp teeth rather than dentures?

      1. cornetman Silver badge

        Microsoft are being hammered by the commenters on the original article. By my reading at least 96% of the comments are extremely negative, some about the unnecessary bloat, other suggesting that it really should be an addon, yet more commenting about how sleazy it is to be pushing debt to their users, particularly at this time of the year.

        Hopefully, they will take notice. I can hardly begin to imagine what Microsoft were thinking.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          > I can hardly begin to imagine what Microsoft were thinking

          Thinking? Marketing said "new, yet untapped source of income - and still legal" and everybody cheered.

          So no, they won't care about "haters", they only care about their bottom line. They will be checking profits while the lawyers explore how they can expand this "service" to other countries worldwide.

      2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Most users wont blame microsoft - the typical browser is so festooned with ads and popups that they'll just think it's from the same source.

      3. CountCadaver Silver badge

        loan sharks? Seriously? Make payments on time and you don't pay any interest, miss payments and you get defaults on your credit score and penalty charges, which you will also be on the receiving end of if you miss payments on any of the following: mortgage payments, car loans, bank loans, credit card repayments, you'll also be hit with penalty charges if you don't have the funds for a direct debit and woe betide if you go into an overdraft where you'll now be paying 40+% interest due to the regulator mandating a standard interest rate for arranged and unarranged overdrafts, in their delusion they thought it would lower charges, when anyone with a grain of common sense could see that it would lead to the banks gouging everyone with abandon.....

        Don't like Microsoft but the pile on seems to come because BNPL gets used by young folk and those on limited incomes, seems a form of snobbery tbh....some of it also driven by banks trying to kill the "upstart" competition to their control of the lending levers, can't have the little folk getting above themselves, have to keep them in their place subject to high interest rates, whereas those with hefty incomes can borrow at virtually zero interest.....

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          You miss the point. These kinds of credit arrangements are based on an expectation that a proportion will be unable to pay the loan off in time.Which is how they make their money. The ones that do pay their loans off on time ( and it's the same for High Street interest free purchases) are a business cost that they accept as part of the bait to catch the victims.

          1. CountCadaver Silver badge

            You could use that argument for virtually every form of credit....from car loans to credit cards...so no I don't buy into the current pearl clutching, curtain twitching moral panic over BNPL....

  9. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Devil

    Worst! browser! bundling! since! "Pocket"!!!

    someone had to say it. Punctuated "Bangs!" added for emphasis (and humor)

    1. Woodnag

      Bangs?

      This is El Reg, old chap. Not Slashdot. They're called exclamation marks.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Bangs?

        Pling, for users of a certain history

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Bangs?

          I have herd them called "Shriek" in the past, but I can't remember the context.

          Pling was largely popularized by the BBC micro documentation, although I'm sure that it was used before that.

          Bang was used before Slashdot, in UUCP/UUmail mail routing.

  10. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    The Internet Explorer compatibility mode gives enterprises a path out

    Count me out. IE still unavoidably has serious security issues and MS hasn't learnt that putting this stuff into the browser is asking for trouble. No doubt people are already working on how to redirect any payments…

  11. John Carter

    Instead of Edge, maybe they should call it RimJob?

    1. DJV Silver badge

      I licked liked what you did there.

    2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
      Happy

      Good low-level technical note.

      Maybe we should call you John Carter of Ars.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is amazing how much abuse

    Microsoft users can take. And they always come back begging for more.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nerd rage incoming.

    Bloat bla bla, whilst the browser has 48 tabs of CS:GO hax, YouToobz and crypto-get-rich-quick tutorials.

    120Gb of Fortnite installed etc.

    Valid point above consumer credit baked into a business/default version of Edge. But a such a drama in a tea cup this.

    And the always laughable "its worse than Chrome" retort. Yes, Google. Well know for not snooping on all your transactions LOL

    Probably thinking Incognito is "private" as well.

    I'll just not use it and get on with my life.

    Anyway. Sorry, rage on

  14. Grunchy

    I’m ticked off at Windows 10

    ... to the point that I don’t care any more, Windows 7 worked just fine, I’m going back to it. I don’t need all this Cracker Jack bs from Microsoft. I don’t care about their declaration that 7 is out of support, that suits me even better.

  15. mikus

    Why would you use this?

    So instead of sending everything you do to in a browser to google, you send it to microsoft. yay.

    Plus you get the "downgrade me to IE" for instant infection capabilities from their finest legacy code, what is not to love for enterprises.

    Now they're down to grubbing for cash by giving you a layaway plan. You know how you can always tell a bad neighborhood? Count the check cashing stores on the corners, and this is the newest variety.

    As a full-time linux user, I laugh when they announce Edge builds for linux, like any self-respecting user would ever other than as a random benchmark.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As the festive season approaches,

    I have just, and finally had enough of edge on my daughter's laptop, having various shitty pop-ups (courtesy of MS), and having fiddled with settings (again!) and with add-ons (again!), I just said: look, sorry, I can't fix this autologin, I can't turn off this upside-down figure f...-knows-what-for in the corner, I just can't keep f... around with it with every. new. browser. update. every. few. days, it gets deleted, I'll get you opera instead, sorry. Then I gnashed my teeth as I saw a greyed out 'uninstall' box as this immediately brought the fond memories of my locked phone (which has a potential to be a truly superb device, but they made it into a crippled brick instead). So, MS managed to f... me off by making their browser _very_ hard to control, and when I decided to part ways, they showed me a big, fat finger on the way out, trying to keep me in their walled garden anyway. And I bet 99% of people just give up at this point, because while solutions are easy, majority run away screaming from terminal window (warning! warning! hacker! hacker! danger! danger!) - which is the whole point of keeping the walls unappealing.

    Incidentally, opera is also a privacy, snooping and slurping mine-field, with numerous options 'conveniantly' pre-activated, and also 'conveniantly' scattered across settings, and it takes a good several minutes to set up, find the right ad- and shit-blocking add ons, untick the 'helpful' crap, etc.

    Edge had potential, and I liked it for some time, though, frankly, I knew where it was heading, and it wasn't heading my way, user's way, but it was heading MS way. So, now I'm Chrome-less (installed and uninstalled in no time because google), same with edge, I still use opera at times here, and firefox, but they're imitating the big boys and heading the same way. And tor, which would work, if it wasn't for the constant middle finger I get on most major sites. You don't want to be monetized - get lost. Fair enough.

    by the way, the buy now pay later scam (I call it a scam) apparently DOUBLED since 2020, in the UK at least.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As the festive season approaches,

      So, now I'm Chrome-less

      Isn't Opera just another Chrome clone? Today everything is Chrome, except Firefox and Safari (which is Apple only).

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome back. We’re sorry.

    this is a PERFECT response from a corp.

    1. they lie

    2. they pay peanuts, so they get monkeys

    3. their attention span is nil.

    4. they don't give a (...)

    etc.

  18. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    So when will the dystopian future be here, where someone else owns your operating system, and decides to run hour long updates on "your" computer whenever it likes to (preferably just as you try to reboot it to fix an issue before you urgently must use the computer, or when you try to turn it off before going to bed), while the OS bundled software snoops on your purchases and store checkouts, making unwanted offers to you?

    Oh, it's here already, you say?

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Apple introduced all-but-the-last with Leopard.

  19. sdjones2001
    IT Angle

    We like shiny things the most

    So Micro$oft is now a finance company that happens to dabble in software? I suspect this may have been the case for a while now...

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: We like shiny things the most

      Not the first time a computer company has moved into financing, although the context is different.

      IBM used to make a pretty penny in the '80s and '90s by offering financial services for their Mainframe customers, making a double win from selling the mainframe and then gathering the financing costs (and, incidentally, being able to lock the customers into IBM Support as well).

      It was enough to be broken out into a separate income stream in the annual financial report. Not sure whether it still does.

  20. msobkow Silver badge

    "We're sorry we got caught."

    There.

    Fixed that for you.

  21. xyz123

    Masssive GDPR violation by Microsoft. they're spying on HTTP and secure comms via the browser, GIVING the data to zip who then suggests a loan repayment scheme.

    There's no opt-out, no informed consent. MS is on the hook under GDPR regulations (and you don't even have to prove any loss - just that the rules were broken)

  22. Uncle Ron

    Total Joke

    Total joke. When support for 10 goes away, so do I.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Total Joke

      10? Not 8? or 7?

      You sound a like a smoker whose been promising to give up when the price of a packet of fags reaches some randomly selected but ever increasing threshold, every time the duty goes up in the budget.

      I remember a guy I work with telling me "I'll give up if they go over a fiver". Well, they're over a tenner now and he still smokes :-)

  23. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Ethics or Lack Thereof

    While multiple payments are offered by sellers and sometimes payment services (PayPal) to customers, it should never be offered by the Rejects of Redmond or any other browser vendor.

  24. VBF
    WTF?

    They're 'aving a larf!!

    The MS Link in the OP says "BNPL is currently available in Microsoft Edge Canary and Dev channels and will be available by default to all users in Microsoft Edge release 96. "

    IMO BNPL in a browser is just ridiculous, intrusive and insecure.

    However if it is just "available" as an Extension, then I see nothing wrong with letting idiots shoot themselves in the foot with it.

    But to make it the default. No No No!!!

    It goes on to say:

    With BNPL in Edge, you can simply link your Microsoft account with your zip account with one click and then bypass sign in from Zip side. It can expedite the application process for you."

    Now what could possibly go wrong with that?

  25. Abominator

    Nadella is such a major dick.

  26. steviebuk Silver badge

    Fucking awful

    Watching the documentary on BBC about Buy Now Pay Later. And looking at Microsoft forum post, where pretty much everyone hates it, surely they'll have to u-turn. Its a truely fucking awful idea. But knowing them, they'll release the update for the Christmas period.

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