Microsoft Edges Tries to Convince Users Not to Download Chrome

Posted on December 2, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome with 53 Comments

The old joke is that Microsoft Edge, like Internet Explorer before it, is only used once by most users, to download Google Chrome. But it’s no joke. And now Edge is trying to convince users not to even download Chrome in the first place.

To see the prompts, open Microsoft Edge and browse to google.com/chrome. I’ve seen two pop-ups. The one depicted above, and one that reads, “Microsoft Edge runs on the same technology as Chrome, with the added trust of Microsoft. Browse securely now.”

The idea, of course, is to prevent Chrome users from even downloading the other browser. This stands alongside Microsoft’s other anti-competitive practices in Windows 11, such as making it hard to switch the default browser and, even when a user figures out how and takes the time, secretly making it impossible to switch some tasks away from Edge.

It’s fair to point out that Chrome also provides similar pop-ups. For example, when you browse to Google.com using Edge, you’ll see a pop-up that says, “Google recommends using Chrome. Built for Windows. Easily search on Google with the fast, secure browser. Don’t switch.” But then, we’re not really using Google as the standard for the right thing to do, are we?

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Comments (53)

53 responses to “Microsoft Edges Tries to Convince Users Not to Download Chrome”

  1. navarac

    It’s fair to point out that Chrome also provides similar pop-ups.


    True, but then we all expect this from Google, not so much from Microsoft. Microsoft must be getting really desperate.

    • wunderbar

      I don't know, I personally expect that kind of behaviour from every large company that has the sole goal of increasing profits.

    • red.radar

      Both Google and Microsoft are in the wrong with their popups.


      This is a failure of Anti-Trust regulators to police the market. Bad behaviors are being normalized.


    • ento

      These are not comparable!


      If I’m in Gmail or Google.com I expect to see ads.


      if I’m doing something else in windows - which I paid for - I should not be seeing Microsoft ads.

      • naro

        I didn't pay for Windows 10 or 11. Did you? Who cares if they suggest you use their browser. They all do this. Microsoft isn't going to remain "better" if they don't stay in business to offer other options. It's part of the game now.

        • jdawgnoonan

          Yes you did. They changed the licensing and you qualified for the upgrade to the product that you paid for. I cannot understand why so many paying Windows users suddenly feel that Windows is actually free now. You originally paid for a license. Microsoft has simply started allowing upgrades without paying more. They did this to improve their processes to keep Windows secure. If you think Windows is suddenly free you are being duped. Go build a PC and download your free copy of Windows from Microsoft if it is actually free now.


        • miamimauler

          @naro


          We pay for Windows when we purchase a new device. It's built in to the purchase price.

  2. cliffordsf

    Nothing is free. If we actually paid for all of the content and tools we used, we'd likely end up paying as much, if not more, than we pay (paid) the cable companies. This is the world we live in. This is how commerce works. If they would give you the option of ad-free vs paid, well, that would be wonderful, but I have a feeling the people complaining would still be complaining about the costs. Seriously, I hate all the pop-ups and content-blocking ads too, but as long as services and tools are offered "free", we have to deal with it. I admit, I haven't become a paid subscriber to Thurrott.com yet. When announced, I was all for it, but reality is a funny thing. I decided that I could live without having access to every article posted and deal with a greater level of ad content. When it gets out of hand, I stop going to a site. The ads in the margin, which are more like print ads, don't bother me at all. It's the ones that are in your face, block content until you find the virtually hidden close box, etc. that annoy the hell out of me. But alas, I suffer to save a few bucks. Wrong, I know, but I guess the dream of add-free/reduced content is not as rosy when it comes down to it.

  3. red.radar

    I have moved back to firefox. It has its flaws but its cross platform and makes an attempt to respect my privacy. I just wish iOS would allow content blocking extentions to work with thirdparty browsers. It takes serious gymnastics to block obnoxious adware if you don't use safari.

    • dftf

      Don't forget that when running Firefox (or any browser) on iOS or iPadOS, the rendering-engine behind-the-scenes is always Apple's own WebKit. So only the user-interface differs. Whereas on Android, Firefox there does use its own rendering-engine, not the built-in Chromium-based "WebView" engine.

  4. eric_rasmussen

    I was actually using and enjoying Edge until the most recent auto-coupon popups started annoying me everywhere. The coupons often don't even work, and sometimes when the browser tries it messes up my cart.


    Now with the buy now, pay later crap integrated I'm actively hating on Edge. Good job, Microsoft, you took a product I was trying to like and turned it into something I hate.

    • dftf

      Yeah, the "Shopping in Edge" is rarely useful; it's either offering coupon-codes, rarely any of which actually work, and offers no mechanism to report-back ones that don't. And it sometimes mistakes a value on the page, such as a pay-by-instalment amount, as the actual item price when doing its comparisons. So if a site says "pay in 6 instalments of £15" for a £90 item, Edge will detect that £15 as being the price of the item.

    • egab

      You can just go to settings and disable it if it's not working well for you. Still a solid browser.

  5. harmjr

    This is just so comically sad. I now feel sorry for the Edge team. All I can see is in Tiny Tim's voice saying "Please Sir Use Edge or Satya will beat us".

  6. jchampeau

    Seeing Windows slowly devolve from a first-rate desktop OS (Windows 7) to an advertising engine for Microsoft is painful.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Totally agree.
    • Truffles

      Mr. Nadella: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

      Benjamin: Yes, sir.

      Mr. Nadella: Are you listening?

      Benjamin: Yes, I am.

      Mr. Nadella: Services.

      Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?

      Mr. Nadella: There's a great future in services. Think about it. Will you think about it?

    • hrlngrv

      Windows after 7 is still a good OS as long as one uses 3rd party desktop components and a 3rd party browser. IOW, NBD for most of us here, mostly unpleasant (if noticed) by the legendary normal user.


      I suppose there's an underlying question: would any MSFT browser become Internet Explorer over time?

  7. LT1 Z51

    I think anything that says I should use another application versus the one I'm using (and is 90% the same in terms of functionality) should be illegal and considered an invasion of my privacy.


    I hate when I go to Microsoft sites in Firefox I get bombarded by use Edge prompts and banners, and when I use Google I get those stupid use Chrome bumper stickers. Stop it. I know what I want, I use what I want, and frankly wouldn't change at this point out of spite.

  8. egab

    Maybe US only ? I don't get any pop-up from Canada when trying to d/l Chrome.

  9. ebraiter

    Both Microsoft and Google are annoying with their pop-ups.

    But, you are using a "free" browser. Maybe they'll release a browser that you can pay for and it will block all pop-ups, crappy ads, and actually work well.

    • ento

      But the Microsoft popup is coming from the OS, which you paid for, while you were attempting to do something else - it is intruding on what you were doing. It's not like seeing an ad on a web page which you browsed to.

  10. jupast

    If the Edge team keep going on their current trajectory, their browser will end up with the same terrible reputation of Internet Explorer.


    This sort of thing (not that Google is much better) and the continual adding of pointless bloatware, that should just be extensions, is taking Edge down a concerning path.

  11. davidblouin

    "It’s fair to point out that Chrome also provides similar pop-ups."


    Srsly?


    smh..

  12. hrlngrv

    FWIW, Edge doesn't bitch, whine and moan when downloading the portable versions of browsers.


    Yet another reason to prefer portable software.

  13. bluesman57

    As a longtime Microsoft fan (what the heck is wrong with me?), I embraced the original Edge, and was really liking the new Credge (as Mary Jo calls it) until this latest round of crap they've loaded into it. The shopping stuff, the default app stuff, the constant annoying messages about all kinds of stuff I don't want are really p***** me off.

    I downloaded Brave and am trying to use that as much as possible. No, I haven't even tried to make it the default (on Win11). I use Chrome for Google stuff, like YouTube and Gmail.

  14. JH_Radio

    everybody bitches about edge and all of this stuff, yet google doing the same thing or tracking everybody's adds is no big deal.

    How exactly does Google get a pass and continue to have market dominance?

  15. jdawgnoonan

    Why do so many people who respond here believe that Windows is now free? You didn't pay for the upgrade to 10 or 11 but you paid for a license that qualified you for that upgrade. You cannot build a PC or buy one with no OS and go get your free license. If you think Windows is free now you are accepting marketing as truth. I find ads in a product that I bought to be insulting. Granted, the browser propagandistic ads really aren't that annoying, but this was not free.

    • captobie

      True, but I’m running Windows 11 on an upgrade of a Windows 7 license I bought over a decade ago.

      • navarac

        But it was Microsoft itself that changed its own rules on upgrading. The OS is still a paid license.

  16. wbtmid

    What is next? The voice of Cortana (or HAL 9000 from "2001: A Space Odyssey") saying: "I am sorry, I cannot let you do that!"


    Now that Microsoft is "giving" us free updates we MUST do things their way! You will comply or else your computer will no longer be useful. Since we no longer OWN anything, we just license it temporarily at the pleasure of Corporate Microsoft their ways of monetizing the product at our expense are unlimited!

  17. petteri

    This behavior has not yet reached the Linux version of Edge. Hopefully, it never will.


    Microsoft Edge Version 97.0.1072.21 (Official build) beta (64-bit)


    Running on Kubuntu 21.10.

    • wright_is

      Or versions outside the USA. On Windows 10, I don't get the prompt.

      • petteri

        Ah, perhaps that's what it is. I'm in the EU (Finland), so it could be that and not the Linux version. Interesting.

    • wunderbar

      I can't imagine it would come to the Mac/Linux versions because on those systems you've already actively gone to the trouble of downloding edge, meaning you're likely using it.


      You'll see it on Windows because it's the default, in box app, and Microsoft is trying to get people to use the default, in box app.

      • petteri

        Possibly, but the way things are trending with Microsoft I wouldn't put it past them.

    • ebraiter

      Wow. Someone uses Edge on Linux. :-)

    • hrlngrv

      Most Linux users would go to browser's own web sites to download browser software rather than use their distribution's package manager and/or app store?

  18. ikjadoon

    Sleazy when anyone does it.


    Cannot believe I lived through the 2000s, where pop-ups were only a smidge better than a literal virus, and now the browser itself is a pop-up ad.


    Imagine this crap coming to Microsoft’s hardware. Browsing on a Surface laptop, “You weren’t reading online reviews of other laptop brands, were you? That’s so lame. We’re blocking this domain now for your safety.”


    Who at Microsoft will stop Panos Panay from one day locking down Surface devices to Edge-only, claiming some “total experience and complete safety” corporate propaganda that he crows about?


    Bring on the anti-trust, countries with a functioning government.

  19. MichaelDarby

    Here's what I just got:

    • pusta

      I got this one:


      • navarac

        Unfortunately, it is the trust in Microsoft that is in serious doubt.

        • wright_is

          I trust Microsoft more than Google, but that is a bit like asking someone whether they'd rather have Cholera or the Plague?

      • hrlngrv

        Philosophical question: how long does it take a corporation to piss away all trust?


        Philosophical question re evil: did the existence of a Hitler mean Stalin and Franco were just overzealous? That is, logically is it not possible to be less evil than Google but still too evil?

  20. djross95

    "Buy now, pay later" anyone? Truly embarrassing for a company like Microsoft.

  21. oscar90

    Microsoft must be really longing for the bad old days when they felt the heat from DoJ.

    • hrlngrv

      Different perspective: there are too few in MSFT's current senior management or on MSFT's board of directors who had 1st hand experience with US v MSFT. Too little collective memory, too much lust for ever more revenues.

    • captain_morse

      Tough love is still love.