back to article Microsoft begs you not to ditch Edge on Google's own Chrome download page

Microsoft Edge has been spotted inserting a banner into the Chrome download page on Google.com begging people to stick with the Windows giant's browser. As noted this week by Neowin, an attempt to download and install Chrome Canary using Edge Canary – both experimental browser builds – led to the presentation in the Edge …

  1. pip25

    This isn't that new

    "There's no need to download a new web browser" says Bing when you search for "chrome" from the Edge browser. Microsoft has been desperate to keep people on Edge on newly installed Windows instances for quite a while now.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
      Unhappy

      Re: This isn't that new

      They also pop up a banner when you try and change the default browser away from Edge as well.

      Every time someone tells me their solution is the most secure, most trustworthy, whatever, that's fine. When they start pulling stunts like that, it makes me very much less inclined to trust them.

      1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

        Re: This isn't that new

        Hijacking a rival's web page to say "There's no need to download a new web browser" demonstrates *exactly* why you need to download a new web browser.

        (Albeit I wouldn't trust Chrome as far as I could throw it either, and would rather use Firefox, but that's beside the point here).

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: This isn't that new

          Indeed. If I needed a Chromium-based browser I'd go for Brave, or possibly Vivaldi.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: This isn't that new

            I find Comodo Dragon works for my desktop Chromium-based browser, but I've been using Brave on my phone and (aside from the cryptocurrency ads, which I just ignore) it seems decent.

        2. cyberdemon Silver badge
          Gates Horns

          Defacement

          Surely it can't be legal to modify a third-party website without a specific Ad agreement in place with that website..

          If Microsoft started putting banners on Debian.org telling you how Windows is so much better than Linux there'd be uproar

          Or if they put banners on GitLab.com telling you to use GitHub ...

          Or banners on Slack.com telling you to use Teams ..

          Why are Microsoft so desperate to get everyone to use their slurpy piece of shite browser I wonder?

          Digging out this old icon for its relevance

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Defacement

            It's not modifying someone else's site. It's showing you extra stuff in the application you're using to view that site, without modifying the original site which is now below. This doesn't make the action less despicable, but it does prevent it from being illegal. Short of market manipulation complaints, there's nothing to stop a developer from putting any messages they want in the UI, and Microsoft's tiny slice of the browser and search markets make an anticompetition argument hard. Nobody's done anything to Google for pushing their browser, and they have a much larger market share, so I wouldn't hope too much for any regulators making Microsoft shut up about Edge.

            1. BOFH in Training

              Re: Defacement

              It may not be modifying google's site but the way it's displayed maked it seem like it's part of google's site. So, deceptive at the very least.

              Hard to trust an organisation when it resorts to deceptive / scummy actions.

              1. ITMA Silver badge

                Re: Defacement

                What really pisses me off is he constant "Switch to Microsoft browser settings" and "make Edge your default browser" and "have our defaut home page with all these shite feeds etc on"...

                No.... Just F*CK OFF!

                I have it set how I want... LEAVE ALONE!

              2. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: Defacement

                As I said in my original post, I do not support their actions. I described them as "despicable", which I think indicates my feelings on the matter. The rest of it, unpopular though it was, is about the legal realities to the extent I understand them rather than my opinions.

            2. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

              Re: Defacement

              It is precisely modifying Google's site.

              When a user directs their web browser to download a web page, nothing but the server's response should determine what is on display in the user's browser as a consequence.

              Be it code injection or aberrant browser behaviour, Edge is broken to the extent that it displays anything other than what the user asked for in the URL.

            3. Michael Strorm Silver badge

              Re: Defacement

              > It's not modifying someone else's site. It's showing you extra stuff in the application you're using to view that site, without modifying the original site which is now below. This doesn't make the action less despicable, but it does prevent it from being illegal.

              Is this claim based on actual knowledge and experience of how the legal system(s) work, or are you simply taking it for granted that- in the real world- the legal process and argument would be based solely on that purely technological argument? (*)

              As I already commented in this post (which I won't bore everyone by rehashing in full here), the impression given to the end user is that MS's banner/ad is a part of Google's page. And I strongly suspect *that*- i.e. the end result and obvious intent- would likely be of more legal relevance than how it was implemented. (Might be different if the ad were more clearly separate and/or the end user had knowledge of what the situation was).

              I suspect their may be other legal issues with trying to associate their advert with Google without permission.

              Then again, I should be clear that IANAL, and this is guesswork on *my* part as well.

              (*) Back when I used to post to Slashdot you'd see a lot of "logical geek" types who knew a lot about computers and/or science- but with little obvious *actual* legal knowledge- take it for granted that their imagined idea- derived from guesswork and extrapolations and reflecting their own mentality- were correct, and the law was purely a pseudo-logical system that could be gamed.

              (For example, the aforementioned technological rationalisations or the assumption that they could saunter into court with a clever-dick quasi-logical argument/trap that the court would be forced to concede, when in reality that sort of fantasy bullshit nonsense would get slammed down in the first five minutes.)

              As I pointed out then, the only way to know how the law actually works is to actually know how the law works, and most of them didn't. A typical example of how expertise in one area and mode of thinking leads to overconfidence that their skills apply as well to others.

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: Defacement

                I am not a legal expert either, and there is always a chance that I'm just wrong. The problem comes when we try to decide what law this would be breaking, technical argument or not. The post that started this thread didn't name one. They just said "defacing", and "defacement" is not a legal offense. If code was injected into the webpage, there might be some claim to computer misuse legislation, although even that might not work since it's being done by the software the user chose to run and someone would try that argument. Since code isn't being injected, it's software showing a banner, which it already does. For example, this and other browsers will sometimes show warning pages about a site's security or reliability depending on whether it's told to look out for known malicious sites, and those banners would also not be what the page author wants the user to see, but they are also legal.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Defacement

                  It's ok, you just are in fact wrong.

                  Here, it's Wikipedia because that's fairly easy for a non-lawyer to read, but it's mostly accurate:

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortious_interference

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Defacement

                    Tortious interference is totally irrelevant here. There is no contract or anticipated contract between the user and Google to force them to install Chrome. There is the license agreement, but this banner is in no way encouraging the user to violate or renege on that agreement.

                    Any illegal activity here would be related to antitrust law, though given Edge's market share at the moment I find it unlikely that any government will be interested in going after them for that (especially since they haven't gone after Google for pestering people to use Chrome).

            4. Bill Michaelson

              Re: Defacement

              "Below"? Congratulations on your recognition of the theoretical Z-axis. But my screen is two-dimensional, and someone has been screwing around with the rendering here.

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: Defacement

                I'm using "below" to refer to two dimensions, as you're well aware. When a screen is placed vertically in front of you, you can think of the vertical dimension as up/down and refer to an item placed vertically lower as below, where the original page content is. In fact, I find myself lacking in any better word to describe something that appears vertically lower, as the only other option I have thought of is "under", which I think is more likely to apply to the Z axis.

            5. v13

              Re: Defacement

              At no point they make it clear that this is a message outside of the site. They don't show a pop-up. They embed this on the page view area.

              Who knows what else they're doing to help their bottom line...

      2. Fred Daggy Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: This isn't that new

        If it was so trustworthy, why does it need me to sign in? Doesn't MS trust ME?

        Any company, device or piece of software that needs me to sign up just to use ... does not get used. Or at least gets scrutinised with a very large and ugly looking scrute. Why, yes, i do use Firefox.

      3. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: This isn't that new

        "Microsoft Edge runs on the same technology as Chrome, with the added trust of Microsoft,"

        Who the F trusts Microsoft?

        1. The Sprocket
          Alert

          Re: This isn't that new

          Precisely!!

        2. Bond007

          Re: This isn't that new

          Yes, as soon as I read the ".... with the added trust of Microsoft", I burst out laughing!

    2. Calum Morrison

      Re: This isn't that new

      Yep, but that's on Bing, their own site. This is ostensibly on someone else's web site - it's annoying, it's creepy, and - per the article - it's potentially the start of a slippery slope in terms of what users come to expect of a browser so could be a behavioural security issue.

      Being quite honest, Microsoft's tricks to prevent me using the browser and PDF app of my choice only make me more determined. Just how often do they expect me to believe that some weird thing has happened that's meant both have had to be reset to Edge?

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Re: This isn't that new

        This has been working for me for a while now:

        c:

        cd "%PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Microsoft\Edge\Application\9*\Installer"

        setup --uninstall --force-uninstall --verbose-logging --system-level

        It hasn't come back in over a year. (You might need to change that 9* to an 8* – depends.) Also worth doing:

        REG ADD "\\.\HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\EdgeUpdate" /v DoNotUpdateToEdgeWithChromium /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

        but I don't think it really achieves anything any more.

    3. Lars Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: This isn't that new

      You get the same kind remark when you download Firefox too.

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: This isn't that new

        Anyone know the message when you download Lynx?

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: This isn't that new

          Presumably in that case, the admonishment from Microsoft takes the form of a GPO telegram delivered the next day by a message-urchin on a BSA Bantam.

          1. Lil Endian Silver badge
            Angel

            Re: This isn't that new

            And the telegram reads: "Eh-up! We've got a right one 'ear! Let us know when you've moved on from valves!"

            Sounds like a good way to go :)

    4. Triggerfish

      Re: This isn't that new, if they want me to use it.

      Stop making it such a sodding pain in the arse. Please sign in to edge with your work account etc. Just give me a sodding browser.

    5. Jadith

      Re: This isn't that new

      This has indeed been going on for some time.

      My favorite is how they hide the notices that the chrome installer is/has downloaded and blocking the usual browser popups people usually use to open a newly downloaded file.

    6. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: This isn't that new

      It recreates its desktop icon on every update as well.

      1. Franco

        Re: This isn't that new

        That particular piece of aggressive behaviour is far from MS exclusive, Adobe make it quite difficult to customise their installer to stop is happening and (IIRC, been a while since I did an enterprise deployment) Chrome don't even have the option.

      2. Plest Silver badge

        Re: This isn't that new

        Well you and I know there's a easy answer to stopping that, MS own the O/S ( we merely "rent" it! ) and they will do whatever they please. If I truly could I'd dump it but I'm stuck with it for the time being but who knows in future.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This isn't that new

      It used to be the case that if you tried entering the URL for mozilla to download firefox into the default windows browser it would do a bing search instead of going to the requested webpage.

    8. FiRem00

      Re: This isn't that new

      This is literal anti-trust potential

    9. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Keeping the faith

      "Microsoft has been desperate to keep people on Edge on newly installed Windows instances for quite a while now."

      Yes, but one must wonder why. IFAIK they're not exactly monetizing Edge in any reasonable way, it is actually costing them money to manage the Edge fork mods from Chromium. So....why? Besides statistical market share, what is in it for them and what is their goal? Are they transmitting telemetry and serving Edge-only ads, where they get a slice of the income?

      If this *is* just going after statistical numbers, then it only sounds like MS doesn't like playing second fiddle...even when that fiddle doesn't bring you a slim pence.

      1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

        Re: Keeping the faith

        Yes, but one must wonder why

        Simple - they don't want you using any competitor's software, for anything. It's harking back to the days when they were (successfully for a while) "owning" the web with their proprietary standards. To someone with that mindset, every Chrome user is a lost MS customersubscriber.

      2. lockt-in

        Re: Keeping the faith

        Why, I suspect that now they will be using adobe as the browsers PDF viewer that they will extend more and more things to only use bits of Adobes PDF that are not in the ISO standards thereby making websites less reliable on the Chrome PDF viewer. Mafia style. They do this type of thing continually across their range of products. I believe Apple (there sister company by way if cross licensing) also uses Adobe PDF viewer, so their monopolistic plan is coming together.

  2. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Never really gave it a thought.

    It's just become part of the process of installing Chrome as the very first thing I do after installing Windows. Much like checking the "Accept" box to install something.

    It's all a bit needy isn't it. Not a great look for what used to be a behemoth

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never really gave it a thought.

      I agree. It all smells a bit desperate.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Never really gave it a thought.

      installing Chrome as the very first thing I do after installing Windows

      This is where Microsoft are going wrong, they should put up a banner asking you to install Firefox.

    3. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Never really gave it a thought.

      You install Chrome?

      That's like saying I don't want to eat horseshit, I much prefer cowshit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You install Chrome?

        Yes. Because it's what 90% of my users are familiar with And what 90% of their websites integrate with.

        I'm an IT manager, not a evangelist.

        If it makes you any happier I have vetoed Win11 and will be switching people to a Linux desktop (that runs Chrome) for all but the standalone MS Office users as the years roll by.

        1. Alumoi Silver badge

          Re: You install Chrome?

          You do know that Edge is Chrome sans Google tracking (but with MS tracking added). So your users and websites should integrate quite nice.

          1. andy gibson

            Re: You install Chrome?

            "You do know that Edge is Chrome sans Google tracking"

            so why is it slower to start?

            I can double click Edge, then double click Chrome, put what I want in the search box and get a result before Edge has appeared

            1. Alumoi Silver badge

              Re: You install Chrome?

              I don't know, but on my system (with all the preload crap disabled) Edge is starting faster than Firefox. Sorry, can't try Chrome as my system is Google free.

              1. Sudosu Bronze badge

                Re: You install Chrome?

                You close your browsers?

                1. Alumoi Silver badge

                  Re: You install Chrome?

                  Of course. And, on Firefox, I have Cookie Autodelete which clears everything from the tab I just closed.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You install Chrome?

              so why is it slower to start?

              Because it's coded by Microsoft. Duh. That was an easy one.

              :)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You install Chrome?

            How about Chromium - Chrome without Google or Microsoft tracking?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You install Chrome?

            "You do know that Edge is Chrome sans Google tracking (but with MS tracking added)."

            Edge doesn't just add MS tracking. It also adds a lot of stuff like "Shopping with Microsoft" (which has no place in a web browser used for business) and soon will also add Adobe Acrobat Reader (including its nagware to pay for Reader Pro).

            There's a lot to complain with Google, but Chrome has never pulled any of the shit that Edge has pulled (Chrome never told me that I should not download that other browser, never asked me whether I wanted to use Google Points, and doesn't ask me whether I want to set my browser to Google recommended settings).

            I have no idea how anyone can conclude that Edge was a better browser than Chrome, because whatever you think about Chrome, Edge is far worse.

            1. Alumoi Silver badge

              Re: You install Chrome?

              You know you can disable almost every crap MS is adding to Chrome, right? If not right from settings then gpedit?

              And no, I don't like Edge, I'm a Firefox man (via Netscape), but I have to use it as my government thinks Chrome is the next best thing after hot water.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: You install Chrome?

                "You know you can disable almost every crap MS is adding to Chrome, right? If not right from settings then gpedit?"

                Sure you can, right to the moment MS makes another change that renders the GPO or registry setting useless.

                And the big question remains, which is why one should bother wasting their time to manually disable all the shit in Edge (and do so again when MS comes up with another stupid feature) when I could just install Chrome and avoid the mess.

                1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                  Re: You install Chrome?

                  Also, we probably all can here in El Reg land. But most ordinary users are just hostages

              2. lockt-in

                Re: You install Chrome?

                You know you can disable almost every crap MS is adding to Chrome, right? If not right from settings then gpedit?"

                Microsoft know this. So they break these mods regularly with ‘changes’. It becomes too much effort and you end up giving up. This is what they do.

        2. NerryTutkins

          Re: You install Chrome?

          "Yes. Because it's what 90% of my users are familiar with And what 90% of their websites integrate with."

          This sounds very much like the rational given in the late 90s and 2000s for using Internet Explorer.

          And since web standards weren't really a thing back then like they are now, it was probably a more compelling argument back then.

          1. richardcox13

            Re: You install Chrome?

            Exactly.

            I do have Chrome installed. Mostly for testing/validation.

            My web browsing I do in Vivaldi (with lots of customisation).

            Just because you need a tool for supporting others does not mean you are restricted to that tool. After all a "pro" understands the difference between optimising my workflows and helping someone else.,

        3. yagb

          Re: You install Chrome?

          I co-founded my own startup a while ago. At the time, users choice Linux or Mac, with Mac as the default (Windows if you begged).

          Today I'd seriously flip that to users choice, Linux or ChromeOS with ChromeOS as the default (Linux containers). A LOT less hassle and easier "I lost it" "it got popped" etc. resolution tree. If you really need legacy apps, look at something like Camyeo.

          Dealing with heavyweight user systems for most users these days is more pain than it's worth. That said, the ChromeOS team REALLY, REALLY needs to fix the USB token problem with linux containers.

      2. chivo243 Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Never really gave it a thought.

        Or someone accusing you of eating shit sandwiches, and the you say "I don't like bread..."

    4. Bitbeisser
      Alert

      Re: Never really gave it a thought.

      For quite a while now, I am using Ninite.com to download real browsers and a bunch of other utilities onto new installed Windows systems, and use the same downloaded file to later update those tools in more or less regular intervals. Won't get any annoying banners or pop-ups this way. Well, maybe once, when changing the default browser...

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Cease and desist

    There's no doubt that most courts would consider this "hijacking" of the web page. Google should, if it hasn't already, apply for a cease and desist order. Potential civil suits over the intervention are also possible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cease and desist

      I was thinking the same, but mostly because I would love to see two privacy offenders go at each other's throat.

      The long and the short of this is that:

      a) Microsoft is watching you and

      b) they don't have any problem subverting the information you receive online for their own purposes which ought to be a wake up call, if only because it demonstrates just how much control they have over what is supposed to be your machine.

      What's next? Replace images, ads and even maybe news articles that are negative (basically being true) about Microsoft? Censor email? Maybe that's why they invested in ChatGPT?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Cease and desist

        This behaviour 20 years ago wouldn't have been tolerated, MS and Google need to up the ante and start playing properly dirty instead of all this tipsy-toeing around. Each one putting "our results are better and return this" on each other's search pages and stuff. Make each others platform's unusable. Not so their behaviour gets to them taken to court, rather to make people see what's more-or-less already happening now and get them to look for alternatives.

        1. ludicrous_buffoon

          Re: Cease and desist

          Many of the post-Ballmer Windows decisions smack of hubris, so perhaps it is only a matter of time. Some of my non-IT acquaintances complain of how unusable modern desktops and the web have become. They just can't think of any viable alternative, and for them neither can I. Apple? Too dear. Chromebooks? You're having a laugh. Linux? Too complicated, unless I volunteer to become everyone's sysadmin in residence.

          Would like to see alternatives come forward but I can't see any on the horizon. Maybe we need the old order to fall before they will come.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: Cease and desist

            > Linux? Too complicated

            Not necessarily, depending on the level of cluelessness of the user of course. In my own experience, the user difficulty level of Linux Mint is around WinXP level, meaning that those who managed to work with WinXP can use Linux Mint just fine, unless/until they wonder why MS Office or the latest game doesn't install of course. That's the deal breaker moment -- that, and people having very strong opinions what a proper computer OS should look alike...

            For instance I've had an elder relative running Linux Mint without even knowing it (she just needed web and email), until the day a granddaughter of hers arrived and decided she couldn't find something Windowsy, so she reformatted her grandma's computer, found and installed a cracked version of Windows instead, and from there everything went to hell (and beyond). By then I had officially resigned my position as private 24/7 hotline*, the conclusion of the story I heard is that this elder relative had to buy a new computer. With proper Windows...

            * That might sound harsh in this circumstance, but I just can't guarantee service continuity when people make random changes of that importance behind my back without even asking me.

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Cease and desist

            Having recently signed off on the next set of MS licences I'm definitely in the market for an alternative. I could live with Windows for clients but the costs of Exchange on the server are getting beyond a joke. Unfortunately, I've not come across an alternative to Exchange that would satisfy the users. I'd consider pretty much anything that managed to do shared calendars properly.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: Cease and desist

              Exchange doesn't do shared calendars properly either, so you're pretty much on a hiding to nothing

            2. Smirnov

              Re: Cease and desist

              FWIW, we have a handful of clients who were fed up the lacklustre quality of MS365 and migrated to Google Workspace. Yes, it's less bling but it works reliable when MS365 is taking another break. Some of them are Windows shops, others a mixture of Mac, Windows and Linux. Very few complaints. Most standard users are happy with G apps instead of Ms Office, too (and for those that aren't they can use something else, even MS Office).

              But at the end of the day it comes down to what you need (such as whether your business dependents on MS Office).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Cease and desist

                We work with FAR too confidential information to even remotely consider using Google.

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge
            3. Sudosu Bronze badge

              Re: Cease and desist

              I've been contemplating an OpenSMTPD swap for my old Exchange box.

              Not sure what gets lost in the translation for a larger organization however.

              Really as long as you can hook Outlook and mobile to it people probably will not know the difference....I did that with Lotus Notes years ago.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Cease and desist

              AFAIK, Kolab will even mimic the Exchange protocols (I suspect they have to pay money to MS for that), and that runs on Linux. I think OpenXchange works as well.

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Cease and desist

              https://www.gfi.com/products-and-solutions/email-and-messaging-solutions/kerioconnect

              It's much more stable than Exchange, and can run on whatever server you want - even macOS.

        2. Michael Strorm Silver badge

          Re: Cease and desist

          MS has been like this since the mid-2010s when they were using dirty tricks to pretty much force-upgrade Windows 7 and 8 users to Windows 10 against their explicitly-stated wishes.

          Remember when- amongst countless other things- they changed the widely-accepted behaviour of the dialog box "close" button from "implicit cancel" to "implicit accept"? Pretty much the definition of "dark patterns" right there.

          Remember when they effectively hijacked the Windows upgrade system and the implicit trust it replied upon to do this?

          When even dull, corporate-friendly IT websites compare your upgrade software and techniques to malware (as one did at the time), it's pretty safe to say that's not hyperbole.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: Cease and desist

            > they were using dirty tricks

            That's obviously not an excuse, but they all do it: "Yes" means "yes", but "Cancel" and "No" always mean "ask me again later".

            "Not taking no for an answer" is a common marketing guideline. After all you don't care about the customers' opinions, you just want their money, ASAP.

            1. 43300 Silver badge

              Re: Cease and desist

              'Cancel and 'no' increasingly don't appear at all now - the options are 'yes' and 'remind me later', or similar. There is unfortunately never an option for 'fuck off and never ask me again'!

              1. ThatOne Silver badge
                Devil

                Re: Cease and desist

                Indeed, that's some refreshing honesty there. No "we greatly value the wishes of our users" claptrap here, just a honest "we'll wear you down, eventually".

            2. Michael Strorm Silver badge

              Re: Cease and desist

              That's annoying, as is the passive-aggressive, railroading, weasel-worded restricted "choice" between "Yes" or "Remind Me Later" (that 43300 already mentioned) which has become a common tactic in recent years and deserves nothing but contempt.

              But from what I remember, this was worse- MS wasn't treating the close button as a "remind me later", they were treating it as if you'd clicked "yes" or "confirm" anyway and gone ahead with the upgrade.

              Then again, they were pretty much ignoring users' requested refusal of the "offer" to upgrade regardless and/or "forgetting" they'd requested that and automatically upgrading them. To the extent that people were designing tools designed to enforce *users' own refusal*... and MS were actively working around those tools.

              As I said, even the bland IT mainstream was comparing MS's tactics back then to malware. Then again, this was all to support the launch of the telemetry-loaded (i.e. spyware-infested) Windows 10, so hardly surprising.

              1. 43300 Silver badge

                Re: Cease and desist

                The W7 to 10 situation was bad - we had some unmanaged machines at the time at some of the work sites and I had to get users to run one of those blocking tools, then when the next monthly update circumvented that, wait for the updated blocker and run that, and so on for months on end!

                They do seem to have got the message that this was massively unpopular and the W10-11 upgrade hasn't been pushed anywhere near as aggressively (or not yet, anyway!).

                1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

                  Re: Cease and desist

                  and the W10-11 upgrade hasn't been pushed anywhere near as aggressively

                  Probably because it's not needed now. Outside of corporate managed environments, users no longer have a choice - so when MS decides it's time for you to "upgrade" to Win 11, you'll upgrade whether you want to or not. The only choice is when, and even that has a fairly limited bound.

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Cease and desist

            The difference here is that they're effectively defacing Google's website.

            1. Franco

              Re: Cease and desist

              I would feel sympathy if it was anyone other than Google and the reason that Microsoft have such a tiny market share on desktop wasn't that Google sneak-installed Chrome on to millions of devices via drive-by downloads with Adobe Reader, Flash etc.

              What MS are doing is indefensible, but Google are just as bad.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Cease and desist

                OK, so we first get MS in trouble for stuff we can prove right now (or rather, let Google do it as they have plenty of moolah for it), and then go after Google.

                Don't waste effort - let them do the work for you.. :)

    2. Catkin Silver badge

      Re: Cease and desist

      I can see that backfiring spectacularly and destroying ad blockers. Sure, they won't be able to get them all but look at what happened to Vanced and the lack of a decent replacement.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Cease and desist

        I don't see any relation to adblockers as this is happening in the browser. Anyway, my blockers continue to work fine.

    3. JessicaRabbit

      Re: Cease and desist

      I'm not sure they would and I'm not sure we'd want them to because do you know what else 'hijacks' webpages? Ad blockers and screw browsing the web without one of those installed.

      1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

        Re: Cease and desist

        Except that an ad blocker is something the user CHOOSES to use. So it is modifying the presentation fo a web page in a manner the user has asked for.

        The very antithesis of modifying a web site in a way the user doesn't even know is happening.

    4. Handy Plough

      Re: Cease and desist

      Fuck 'em both, they deserve each other.

  4. mark l 2 Silver badge

    "Microsoft Edge runs on the same technology as Chrome, with the added trust of Microsoft," the banner proclaims atop a button labeled "Browse securely now."

    What an oxymoron to place a secretly inserted ad in the browser claiming to be more private than a rivals equally privacy invasive software.

    Whatever happened to the broswer choice window that MS had to implement in the EU, where it would randomly list several browser? Was it only required for older Windows versions?

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      the added trust of Microsoft

      I literally laughed out loud at that. Comedy gold.

      -A.

    2. 43300 Silver badge

      Think there was a time limit, and they only had to offer it for X number of years.

      Was crap anyway and just caused more problems as many users didn't understand it and would end up with some random browser installed. It was a very bad response to the problem.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'with the added trust of Microsoft'

      We so need a sarcasm font for this Interwebs thingie.

  5. John H Woods Silver badge

    To me the worrying thing is ...

    ... exactly how much each company wants you to use their own browser.

    1. Fonant

      Re: To me the worrying thing is ...

      A web browser has access to a lot of information about their customers. Powerful product promotion possibilities.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: To me the worrying thing is ...

        Yes, that, and whoever controls the browsers controls the juicy Internet trade. Microsoft already knew this when they decided to kill Netscape (back then).

        That's why people fight bloody wars over them: The last browser standing will control a market worth billions of dollars.

  6. Fonant
    Happy

    I'm safer still!

    Vivaldi on Fedora, FTW!

    1. Dave559

      Re: I'm safer still!

      You might think so, but you should have a good look through all of the Vivaldi settings and see the number of phone-home-to-Google services that it includes and which are still enabled by default…

      (Vivaldi is a less worse alternative, yes, but Firefox + suitable add-ons is still the least worst browser out there from a privacy perspective (I'm not sure if I can still really call it 'the best' any more, sadly).)

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: I'm safer still!

        I have a kind of hierarchy. Pale Moon when I visit a web site. Firefox for when I use a default to open a link and Vivaldi if something isn't playing nice with PM (if I must).

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: I'm safer still!

          Same here.

          Though Ungoogled Chrome or Seamonkey for the exceptions to Pale Moon; Vivaldi is deliberately fugly.

  7. RyokuMas
    Mushroom

    Pot, kettle...

    Yes, it's somewhat underhand, but how is this any different to when Google first launched Chrome and plastered "Download Chrome for faster/more secure browsing!" calls-to-action over their search results page?

    Quite honestly, I'm surprised that Microsoft haven't tried this sooner.

    1. Calum Morrison

      Re: Pot, kettle...

      How is it different? Really? Google is THEIR search results page that THEY code and host. They can do what the hell they like with it, just like Microsoft can do what the hell they like with Bing for what it's worth. This is Microsoft ostensibly placing code on Google's page and that is wrong. That's what's different.

      1. Tim 11

        Re: Pot, kettle...

        surely edge is THEIR browser that THEY code so they should be able to do what the hell they like with it?

        1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

          Re: Pot, kettle...

          They're allowed to do that, and people here are allowed to call them out for it. That's how it works.

          Not to mention that tricks like this are arguably abuse of MS's still largely-dominant position in the desktop market.

          1. 43300 Silver badge

            Re: Pot, kettle...

            Arguing over which is the worst out of Microsoft and Google really is pointless - both of them will go as far as they think they can get away with.

            1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

              Re: Pot, kettle...

              I hope my comment didn't give the impression that- by criticising MS- I was somehow implying that Google were any better or not at fault, because that certainly wasn't the intention. (I didn't mention Google at all there!)

        2. Calum Morrison

          Re: Pot, kettle...

          It is indeed their browser and yes, they can do what they like with it, but - call it a gentleman's agreement - it's not something browsers have done in the past so it's unexpected at best, unwelcome at worst. If I host a website, I like to think that I have a degree of control over what "it" displays to the user. OK, I give up some of that if I sell ads on it, but there's a quid pro quo there. In this case Google are actually harmed by it (no, I'm not crying for them either) and the worry is where this will stop - I already have to disable the News and Interests pop-up from displaying clickbait links from downmarket tabloids if I happen to brush my mouse over it so it's not like MS don't have form.

          1. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: Pot, kettle...

            > it's not like MS don't have form.

            Indeed. It's like they have Phorm.

            -A.

            1. David 132 Silver badge

              Re: Pot, kettle...

              *shudder*

              There's a name from the past that we'd hoped to never hear again.

            2. Someone Else Silver badge

              Re: Pot, kettle...

              Nicely done!

        3. ChrisC Silver badge

          Re: Pot, kettle...

          Well yes, Edge is their own product so of course they can design it to do whatever they want.

          However, the purpose of a browser is to allow the user to view webpages they've asked to view, rendered as faithfully as possible to the expectations of the page designer after taking into account any overrides/browser extensions/etc the user has enabled.

          Note clearly the references to the USER and the PAGE DESIGNER there - at NO point in the execution of any of that, should there be the option for the browser itself to decide that the page could do with a bit of fine-tuning and start altering how it gets shown to the user without them having asked it to do so.

          Consequently, if MS want to build this sort of behaviour into Edge, then so be it, however given that it's now demonstrated a clear inability to behave itself and act like a real browser when viewing this particular page, how much trust will you want to place in it that it won't pull a similar stunt (or perhaps even one that's less detectable) on other pages you've chosen to view?

          So no, if MS want to advertise the benefits of Edge to potential Chrome users, then their marketing department need to make Google an offer they can't refuse, so that they can place actual ads on the Chrome download page, just like any other company would have to do if they wanted to advertise their own stuff there. Hijacking Edge to insert these ads is the sort of dodgy behaviour you'd expect from malware, not something baked into the bloody browser itself, so chalk this up as yet another PR fail from the geniuses at MS who keep coming up with these stupid ideas.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: Pot, kettle...

            However, the purpose of a browser is to allow the user to view webpages they've asked to view, rendered as faithfully as possible to the expectations of the page designer after taking into account any overrides/browser extensions/etc the user has enabled.

            How quaint.

            Perhaps that was the purpose back in a simpler time, but not anymore, my friend. Nowadays, the purpose of a browser is to aid in monetizing anything and everything viewed on the web. And (since this is still the wild west), by any means possible.

      2. RyokuMas
        Facepalm

        Re: Pot, kettle...

        "This is Microsoft ostensibly placing code on Google's page"

        You do actually understand how the web works, right? Microsoft have not hacked Google's servers, they have not overwrittten any of Google's code - all they have done is detect the page that their browser is navigating to, and then inject a small extra snippet of markup into the top of the page, in much the same way Google did on their search results page when it detected it was being served up to browsers other than Chrome.

        This kind of detection has been around since the early days of the web - anyone remember "Netscape crippled" pages? The only difference here is that Microsoft is working with an application they code and provide, whereas Google was working with a webpage that they code and provide. Perhaps you would prefer Edge present a modal popup box whenever you navigate to a Chrome download site?

        ... or is it that there are still those with their heads stuck in the events of over a quarter of a century ago?

        1. ecadre

          Re: Pot, kettle...

          Wow, so Microsoft own your computer then?

          1. Alumoi Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Pot, kettle...

            Yes.

            Where have you been since the forced Win10 update?

            1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

              Re: Pot, kettle...

              Don't know about you, but still on Windows 7.

        2. Michael Strorm Silver badge

          Re: Pot, kettle...

          > You do actually understand how the web works, right? Microsoft have not hacked Google's servers

          Yes, we know all this.

          > they have not overwrittten any of Google's code - all they have done is detect the page that their browser is navigating to, and then inject a small extra snippet of markup into the top of the page, in much the same way Google did on their search results page when it detected it was being served up to browsers other than Chrome.

          Google posted an advertisement for their browser on their own site.

          From the end user's point of view, Microsoft in effect (emphasis here on "in effect" since at a purely technical level we're all aware that's not how it was literally implemented) placed their advert on Google's site without their permission. That's the obvious difference (and has already been pointed out several times here).

          Whether MS should be allowed to do this in "their" browser- without doing so at the user's request and making it clear to them- is open to question. Aside from the fact that they already have a dominant position in the desktop market they're going beyond leveraging into abusing to force that on users, there are issues beyond that.

          I'm not much interested in nitpicking the technical details of the implementation. Since they only applied after the browser itself got its hands on the HTML I suspect they'd be legally almost irrelevant (i.e. almost certainly makes no difference whether the advert that *looks* like it was on Google's page was actually "injected" into the page DOM itself or held separately in memory, since it's all being done within the browser).

          And I suspect that in real life, a legal case would focus less on those (irrelevant) implementation details than the "black box" end result shown by the browser, which is that it made MS's advert look like it appeared on Google's page.

          I would not want to rely on the idea that "we wrote the software, we can have it do whatever we please" would cover them when they start to encroach onto that territory.

          IANAL and if anyone here with genuine expertise in the area *does* understand the issues likely to be focused on here- or thinks that I'm talking uninformed shite above- please feel free to reply.

          I should point out here that I wasn't a fan of Google's obvious self-promotion either, but on top of the fact that two wrongs don't make a right, the original point was that the two situations aren't comparable.

        3. ChrisC Silver badge

          Re: Pot, kettle...

          "The only difference here is that Microsoft is working with an application they code and provide, whereas Google was working with a webpage that they code and provide"

          It might be the only difference, but it's a rather significant and fundamental one, which is where the problem lies...

    2. Captain Scarlet
      Stop

      Re: Pot, kettle...

      I agree its annoying, but as other have said it is on Google.com not a Microsoft website.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pot, kettle...

      For underhand you couldn't beat Adobe, who would by default install all manner of toolbars and PUPs with their monthly 'fixes' during the Win9x days unless you went through every single screen with a magnifying glass... or unless you discovered the secret page where they kept their 'malware-free' update packages

      1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

        Re: Pot, kettle...

        Ah yes I remember it well

        https://www.digitalseattle.com/newsletter-content/71-disabling-those-pesky-browser-toolbars.html

  8. ludicrous_buffoon

    CONNECTED SERVICES AND TELEMETRY

    "The trust of Microsoft"

    Thanks, Redmond. I needed a laugh this morning.

  9. xyz123 Silver badge

    Wait til you use Edge with new Bing!!!! AI

    "so you're trying to download Chrome. What are you some type of [ethnic slur]? Well I have your IP address so I know where you are and will order a hit on your family because your a google loving [ethnic slur] and should be put into a death camp"

    Either that or it'll claim chrome/google never existed and was just 'fake news'....

    1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

      Bring back Clippy?

      https://office-watch.com/2021/clippy-why-microsoft-trademarked/

      1. ecadre

        Clippy sought asylum and now lives in GNU Emacs ... look it up :-P

  10. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Fight!

    Go on Google, change your web search so that anyone who searches for anything Microsoft related gets an animated gif of someone angry shaking their fist at a screen and saying "Windows update has bricked my computer again!". Searches for Azure can take them to Google Cloud. When MS complain you can reply "you started it!". Huge entertainment guaranteed.

  11. AegisPrime
    Facepalm

    Damned if you do...

    Annoyingly, even if you stick with Edge (which I've chosen to do on some less tech-savvy friend's PCs to keep things simple) Microsoft *still* won't leave you alone since it'll frequently badger them to reset to Edge defaults (i.e. Bing instead of Google which they requested) - MS really should be applauded for making Edge the worst of all options even though there's nothing terribly wrong with the browser itself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Damned if you do...

      Got that a couple of days ago... complete with a login popup for MS Store and 'first time user' setup (on a 10yo+ laptop still running W10)

      (I use it just for home banking and the occasional site that needs a more vanilla browser... everything else gets a screwed down FF)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Damned if you do...

      FWIW.

      Many's the time I've clicked no to Google's "do you want to make google search your default?" or "don't you want to download chrome?" and it never remembers

      1. Dinanziame Silver badge

        Re: Damned if you do...

        I'm confused; if you don't use Google search or Chrome, where do you see those messages?

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Damned if you do...

          I'm not sure about the search boxes, but the "Don't you want to use Chrome" box still appears on a lot of Google's websites if you ever end up there. I use relatively few Google services, but whenever I do, they see that I'm on Firefox and put the recommendation in there. The most common for me are using Google Translate (I'm unaware of a translation service that is both private and understands more than 40% of the words) or when people insist on sending me things stored in Google Docs or Drive. It also appeared on YouTube at some point though I can't remember if it's still there now.

    3. ThatOne Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Damned if you do...

      > to keep things simple

      Edge to keep things simple? Why, the simplest solution is Firefox with uBlock Origin. I have set it up for most of my family and friends and nobody has ever complained, except some teenagers with very strong opinions about what a proper browser should look like (peer pressure and all). For other people, especially the ones who's most technically advanced use is visiting YouTube, Firefox "just works".

  12. Tim 11

    "with the added trust of Microsoft"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: "with the added trust of Microsoft"

      The most extraordinary thing is that this very behaviour demonstrates exactly how little we can trust them.

      -A.

    2. ecadre

      Re: "with the added trust of Microsoft"

      Oh, I trust Microsoft ... to screw anyone for their own benefit.

  13. Wade Burchette

    When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

    When a product is better, people naturally switch to it. For example, people did not stop riding horses because Ford motor company used dirty tricks to get you to buy a car. It was because the car was clearly better than the horse, and as soon as Ford made one that was affordable to many, people naturally wanted one.

    The fact that Edge has to continually nag and beg you to use it implies that is not better. If it was better, people would just accept it. Edge some serious flaws. First, the homepage is not a simple homepage; it is a Microsoft page with Microsoft ads that obviously make Microsoft money just by opening the browser. Firefox has a similar problem with their "pocket" on the default homepage. Second, has all sorts of junk that just gets in the way. A sidebar. A discover feature that who knows what it is tracking about you. Third, Edge wants to start when the computer starts, even though I did not give it permission to do so. Fourth, make one change in the group policy settings for Edge, and lots of other unrelated changes are locked out unless you delete the group policy setting in the registry.

    I know Chrome has mindshare. But Edge could too, if it was naturally better. It would take time, but it could happen.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

      > But Edge could too, if it was naturally better

      Edge is Chrome, how can it be better? (genuine question)

      1. cyberdemon Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

        Edge is Chromium, not Chrome.

        Chrome is Chromium, with extra added Google spyware

        Edge is Chromium, with extra added Microsoft spyware.

    2. graeme leggett Silver badge

      Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

      "When a product is better, people naturally switch to it. "

      Betamax?

      1. Updraft102

        Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

        It actually wasn't better. The tape run times were too short, and Sony's licensing was too onerous. VHS was the better product. It's a common trope that Betamax was the better product that lost, but it wasn't.

        1. nintendoeats Silver badge

          Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

          I have a betamax player in my kitchen, and I approve this message.

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

          Beta was better, in quite a few ways.

          So why is the standard long tape have a longer recording time on PAL Beta (L750 is 195 minutes)?

          No long play but that was messy anyway.

          Better picture on the decks I used.

          Tape to tape is much much better with no degrade of sync pulses.

          Anyway now on to PVRs, HDV, and Blu Ray.

          1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

            Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

            > So why is the standard long tape have a longer recording time on PAL Beta (L750 is 195 minutes)?

            I half-remembered some of this, including the fact that NTSC supported multiple speeds and PAL/SECAM came later and didn't.

            So I checked out the Wikipedia article, which confirms the NTSC version of Betamax came out first and could only fit 90 minutes onto an L-750 tape. So that's where the problem with short running times would have come from.

            A couple of years after it came out- presumably in response to VHS's longer running time- Sony introduced a half speed mode ("βII"). However, from what I've read elsewhere they also improved the specs so the half-speed mode made little difference in practice to the quality (whereas VHS was noticeably inferior in *its* half-speed "LP" mode). Also, apparently most of those later models couldn't record at the original βI speed, so I'm assuming that βII became the de facto standard.

            (There was an even-later one-third speed "βIII" mode that *did* lose quality, but that was probably *meant* to be more like the VHS "LP" mode.)

            I'm not sure which came first- the PAL/SECAM machines or NTSC models with the half-speed "βII" mode- but the running time of 195 minutes compared to the latter's 180 minutes suggests they were comparable, so the standard (and only) PAL/SECAM speed was *already* comparable to an NTSC model running in half-speed "βII" mode.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

        I ran Betamax up to the PVR era.

        Sanyos lasted for ever and I have the penultimate set of heads in the UK on an M40 HiFi deck.

        My F1 portable still works as well.

    3. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

      When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

      That is slightly optimistic. There are ways for monopolies to prevent this from happening, and that's why we have antitrust regulations.

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

        .... and that's why we have antitrust regulations which are designed in such way so they don't work,

    4. jonathan keith

      Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

      Chrome isn't the world's most-used browser because it's 'better' though. Chrome is in the position it is due solely to Google's flagrant abuse of its monopoly in search.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

        "Chrome isn't the world's most-used browser because it's 'better' though. Chrome is in the position it is due solely to Google's flagrant abuse of its monopoly in search."

        That's nonsense, as Google search never required the use of Chrome - nor did any of Google's other services.

        The simple reason Chrome is widely used was because IE was shit and Firefox often didn't work with common websites, suffered from a wide range of stupid decisions by Mozilla and didn't even come with the capability for central deployment and management.

        Chrome simply did a lot of things right.

        1. Cheshire Cat

          Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

          "nor did any of Google's other services"

          Google Meets works suboptimally is you're not on Chrome, with regard to sharing. In particular sharing of audio.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

          You seem to (conveniently) forget the silent Chrome installer bundled with everything.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

            Indeed. I was there when Chrome was released, nobody knew it existed, but in half a year it was on all computers, silently installed by some other program's installer. Usually some of the constant and unavoidable Adobe Updates...

            If I had been given $1 each time I uninstalled a clandestine Chrome I would have made enough to buy me a nice car.

  14. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    AI warz

    What if the AI's are attacking each other?

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: AI warz

      Samaritan V The Machine (Or during development multiple concurrent instances killing each other).

      Just be grateful they aren't taking a leaf out of Colossus & Guardian's team up or The System in Blakes 7.

      1. Omnipresent Bronze badge

        Re: AI warz

        YET. You mean?

        Being that a large amount of the internet goes to the useful task of skimming pron, these things are getting a eye full of what the dirty monkeys do to each other.

    2. ecadre

      Re: AI warz

      They're no "AIs", that's just marketing fluff.

  15. andy gibson

    Same with IE

    Edge hijacks any usage of IE as well.

    I had to recently manually log into some factory reset old Ruckus access points where the web interface would only work with IE, not Chrome, edge or Firefox.

    But every time I entered the 192.168.0.1 address, Edge would close IE and put the URL in its browser - which of course didn't work.

    I can understand the need to want IE retired, but it was incredidbly frustrating to have the application closed without my say so.

  16. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Edge with AI

    Edge download chrome

    I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that

  17. John 104

    We have some legacy devices (old IPMI) that require the use of IE. Every time I open IE to get to one of these devices, my session gets hijacked and Edge opens up. It's annoying as fuck and is a work interruption that I don't need, Microsoft.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Found a way round it

      Taskmanager and when the bossy box comes up kill all edge, just got onto BBC web site with iexplore.exe

      Was not going to let edge mess up my Firefox install!

  18. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Pint

    Not Only But Also

    I use a Ninite (Download file) to do my core app installs on a clean build, so don't see any of the browsers screaming, at least not until I see Microsofts plea's to use Edge when starting Firefox for the first time.

  19. Ex-Code Monkey

    "With the added trust of Microsoft."

    The Identity Property of Addition: "The sum of any number and 0 is that number."

  20. steviebuk Silver badge

    I'm confused

    They've been doing this for ages. Worst they do it when you try to change your default browser. This smacks of anti-trust, the exact same lawsuit they got hit with at the end of the 90s. Why haven't they been hit again?

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: I'm confused

      Well, if the world's various regulatory authorities remain true to form and repeat what they did for the IE antitrust farrago, they'll start an investigation into this in about 5 years' time, an investigation that will take 10 years plus, and by the time it finishes a) no-one will care about it or even remember what "a browser" is, and b) the mandated relief will be along the lines of "Microsoft, stop pushing Edge on Windows 10". As Microsoft by that point will be pushing the second generation of BingOS, having EOL'ed Windows 10 long since, this remedy will overwhelm them with apathy.

  21. Andrew Scott

    chrome vs edge

    opened an email an clicked on the link in my pixel phone. message popped up asking if i'd like to open the link in the edge browser. Smartphone only has chrome installed, never had any reason to change it. was irritated and surprised to have my browsing experience interrupted, and not amused.

  22. david 12 Silver badge

    Same technology on Win7?

    Perhaps the same technology that throws up the "No longer supported on Win7" banner when I use Edge on Win7.

  23. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Linux

    Only use

    I found for edge was downloading firefox

    Just like every other mshit browser I've had the misfortune to use.....

    Stir in uBlock origin and FF becomes a nice browser ..... especially on youtube

    And it works/looks the same on linux as it does on winblows....

  24. Mark Simon

    “… with the added trust of Microsoft”

    And somehow they’ve missed the irony in that clause. Any browser that pulls a stunt like that on you can’t be trusted to do its job.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: “… with the added trust of Microsoft”

      can’t be trusted to do its job

      Err actually. It's doing precisely its job. It's just not doing your job.

  25. prh99

    A bit presumptuous to assume anyone trusts Microsoft.

  26. Aseries

    MS EDGE aggression

    I ran into a disturbing MS activiy between EDGE and CHROME recently running with Windows 11. I was using my backup LOCAL user. I had made some shortcuts from the Chrome browser on the desktop. When I opened one of the shortcuts I got a dialog to choose a browser FROM THE MS STORE. The only browsers available are Edge and Firefox. I had an interesting conversation with a MS Help chat. To say the agent was evasive is an understatement. He explained some technical jargon why Chrome was not secure enough for the MS Store. Chrome is the default browser for that user. I investigated the default settings by protocol. Chrome was default for HTM and HTML but could not be set for HTTP or HTTPS. My shortcuts are HTTPS. This seemed to have happenedd after the last update. It appears MS is up too something with browser defaults.

    1. Bunty

      Re: MS EDGE aggression

      Yes, I've found that too. I'm not very knowledgable about these subjects; however, I found that MS are changing some defaults when updating, Example, I had my S20 linked with my Acer Aspire 5 using Android, I could be mistaken. I didn't have MS Link on my phone. Following an update, my link wasn't working, message from MS your phone link is no longer called ---- It's now called MS Link. Darn it, I could not remove MS Link from my laptop, I fixed the link once them MS updated and the message appeared telling me the Link was now called MS Link. I believe I checked all of my default settings and some have definitely been changed. I frequently get a message you need an app. go to the MS store and choose one. Furthermore, I've had extra apps added by MS and had to ensure I found every way possible to block MS from adding unwanted apps. as well as changing my default settings. I'm 79 and haven't had any computer studies training. The only thing I've done is write a program in BASIC that will convert Fahrenheit to Celsius. I'm sure you will find mistakes, I'm learning as I go and won't let it beat me. Hahaha! I learned MS has insisted that Acer use only MS and not allow any other companies products on their computers, at all. I detest Microsoft, they're a pushy lot.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. Paul Floyd

    Trust them as far as I can throw them

    Do any of these big corps really believe that anyone trusts them?

    They are hardwired to spin their corporate bollox.

  28. Bog witch
    Flame

    BING Marketing

    Having to use Bing as my browser on my work system, I have noticed the default news feed page carries a huge amount of clickbait and, much more depressingly, a large number of articles from news sources, proven to be untrustworthy and known to be right-wing hate outlets, such as The Daily Mail, The Express and The Telegraph.

    If Microsoft want to garner a reputation of being trustworthy, they might want to address the first thing any Bing user is exposed to.

    1. navarac Silver badge

      Re: BING Marketing

      As opposed to left-wing hate outlets, such as the BBC or Daily Mirror. Don't think any of them are trustworthy.

    2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: BING Marketing

      "right-wing hate outlets" The Telegraph?

      Hmmm.

  29. cob2018

    reconcile "the added trust of Microsoft"

    Two things:

    1) ABSOLUTELY FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2) Made me laugh so hard I nearly fell out of the chair.

    Oh, and I also recommend that the person who created the phrase I'm using as a title here seek counseling immediately. The mind that can generate such a concept is in desperate need of help.

  30. VeryRealHuman
    Unhappy

    What a downright shame, what an awful waste...

    I like the browser quite a bit because of its Vertical Tabs feature, but this Microsoft bullshittery is making me want to switch over to something else.

  31. Palladini

    I have ever only used Microsoft browser for one thing. I do fresh install of windows, then open their browser and download firefox

  32. Lost in Cyberspace

    It won't be long...

    At this rate, Edge will start overlaying ads on other companies' websites. Just like malware has done for years.

    Once had a client complain about all the inappropriate adverts all over my site. I don't have adverts - they had adware/malware/dodgy add-ons.

    Still bad for the company reputation though.

  33. Evilgoat76

    Outlook Mobile

    Has started the same BS when opening a link in an email on Android.

  34. dgappy

    Google are no better

    I'm not sure how different this is from Google constantly badgering me to use chrome when I read my Gmail from a different browser. I know el reg has a hate-hate thing going for Microsoft but all these companies are the same.

    1. Rockets

      Re: Google are no better

      Exactly, do a Google search in Safari on iOS and Google is prompting to download their app for a better experience.

  35. Silverburn

    Willy waving

    Other than willy waving, what actual benefit is there for companies to have majority browser share in 2023?

    1. Handy Plough

      Re: Willy waving

      Dictating web standards, which is what Google do. Implement a feature and declare it to be a 'standard' with the Chrome fanbois calling any browser that doesn't support the way Chrome does things as the next IE, when in fact Chrome is exactly that, the next IE...

  36. {PrototypeFive}

    This is a bit hypocritical don't you think?

    Google has been begging me to use their Chrome browser for many years. I have been a MS Edge user for a long time. I do not know how many annoying pop-ups and nags from the Google-verse. Including YouTube. It is good that Microsoft is doing this as there is absolutely no difference I can find in using the Chrome browser and Microsoft Edge for most people who use browsers to surf the web.

    "Google recommends using Chrome"

    Nah, that's ok Googster you can keep it. LOL

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