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Look how hard Microsoft is trying to stop you from using Chrome on Windows

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Microsoft will stop at nothing to give the Edge browser a fighting chance. Internet Explorer’s market share dropped drastically over the last half-decade as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari rose to prominence. Microsoft replaced IE with its new browser, Edge, in 2015. A few years later, Microsoft remade Edge on Google’s Chromium codebase. Edge is now the default browser on Windows 10 and Windows 11, and has basically doubled its market share over the last year. But Microsoft is not satisfied, which is why Windows users are now seeing prompts warning them not to download Chrome.

Microsoft’s new prompts: Don’t download Chrome

In an act of desperation, Windows 10 and Windows 11 users will now see pop-ups when they try to download Chrome while using Edge. If you search “Chrome download” or something similar in Bing, you’ll see a huge banner that reads: “There’s no need to download a new web browser.” It says that you should use Edge for a “fast, secure, and modern web experience” that may somehow save you time and money. Bing is Microsoft’s search engine, so this is somewhat understandable.

But the more egregious prompts begin when you actually go to the Chrome download page.

Microsoft is now serving Windows 10 and 11 users pop-ups to stop them from downloading Chrome. Here are some of the prompts you might see in the Edge browser:

  • Microsoft runs on the same technology as Chrome, with the added trust of Microsoft.
  • ‘I hate saving money,’ said no one ever. Microsoft Edge is the best browser for online shopping.
  • That browser is so 2008! Do you know what’s new? Microsoft Edge.
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As The Verge notes, Edge renders these prompts natively. They do not look quite like notifications you may see on other websites. Microsoft hand-crafted these pop-ups to try to stop as many Windows 10 and Windows 11 users as possible from downloading Chrome.

It’s one thing to tempt users with a new service when they are already using one of your services. For example, Google will try to get you to switch to Chrome when you open Gmail in another browser. But sending users pop-ups about your products on third-party sites is over the line.

Windows 11 undoes default browser change

Microsoft has to know by now how much Windows users hate all of the weird, intrusive choices that it makes. Thankfully, even when it fails to learn this lesson in one situation, it adapts in another.

In Windows 10, changing the default browser was easy. You could simply choose the browser from a menu, and every link you clicked would open that browser instead of Edge.

Microsoft needlessly complicated this process in Windows 11. In its new OS, if users forget to tick the “always use this app” box when opening a new browser for the first time, they would have to change each of the individual file extensions. Now, as spotted by engineer Rafael Rivera, Microsoft is adding back a single button to switch default browsers.

Windows build 22509 has a new browser [Set default] button. 👀 pic.twitter.com/kRDFPKfJMv

— Rafael Rivera (@WithinRafael) December 1, 2021

“In the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22509 released to the Dev Channel on Wednesday, we streamlined the ability for a Windows Insider to set the ‘default browser’ to apps that register for HTTP:, HTTPS:, .HTM, and .HTML,” Aaron Woodman, vice president of Windows marketing, told The Verge. “Through the Windows Insider Program you will continue to see us try new things based on customer feedback and testing.”

See also  Google to introduce in Chrome a shame badge for slow websites

BING

New Microsoft Bing Travel Search Features

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Microsoft Bing announced new travel search features including suggested itineraries and inspiration, 360 immersive views, drink and dining information and coupons and deals. This currently is live in the United States.

Here is what is new with these new travel search features in Bing.

Suggested itineraries & inspiration

You should see a section named “What to see & do” for the trip duration to get an idea of what your trip might look like, Microsoft said. You can also click on “Book flights” or “Book hotels” to get a full-page booking experience.

Here is a screenshot:

Coupons & deals

Microsoft partnered with various sites to show competitive rates for your travel. They also offer packages of bundled hotel and flight experiences. You can also scroll down to the “Coupons & Deals” section to browse cost-conscious options for flights, trip packages, and more.

360 immersive views

Bing also shows “stunning landscapes” it says when you click “Experience in 360” to check out immersive views. Here is a screenshot:

Drink & dining information

There is also the “Eat & Drink” search carousel to start getting excited about the dishes and beverages you can expect to taste, Microsoft said. Here is what this looks like:

click for full size

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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BING

Edge goes on to inform Microsoft of the searches you do in the browser …

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Microsoft Edge can send, by default, to Microsoft the results of any search you do in the browser. The feature is not limited to Bing Search, but informs Microsoft about searches across all search engines, including Google, DuckDuckGo, or StartPage, performed by Edge users, if the setting is enabled.

A gHack reporter opened Microsoft Edge today and saw that Microsoft Edge Support showed him a pop-up window shortly after launch. I was telling him that he could help Microsoft improve search and that Microsoft “will collect the results of the searches you do in the browser to improve Microsoft products and services. ”

This announcement also clarified that the data collected by Microsoft are “never associated” with the user or the device.

Indeed, the journalist accessed the settings and there he verified that Microsoft Edge had activated this possibility, which was previously deactivated. Personally, I have checked it in my browser and the feature remains disabled, so It is recommended that each Edge user take a look at their configuration.

Where to turn this tracking feature on and off

The setting in question It’s called “Helping Improve Microsoft Products by Submitting Search Results to the Web”, and is in the privacy section. Access your Edge browser and click on the three horizontal points in the upper right corner. Access the settings. Once inside the configuration, look in the right column for the option “Privacy, search and services”.

Several options appear where you can go controlling your privacy in various areas of browser use (For example, I found out now that I had activated the option to allow sites to check if they have saved payment methods “something that I am not interested in having activated). And right there you can see if the function is activated that says like this:”help improve Microsoft products by submitting web search results“. If the tab is blank and to the left, it is deactivated. If it is blue and to the right it is activated. There you can decide what to do.

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With it enabled, Microsoft can collect Microsoft can collect the term you are looking for, search results shown to you, your interaction with search results, including links clicked, and demographics, based on information specific to Microsoft.

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BING

Microsoft Bing just got a nice little upgrade, but you still won’t use it

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Microsoft is adding a number of new travel-related features to its Bing search engine to help you save time and money when booking your next trip.

Planning a trip can be an exhausting process as you often have to visit one site to get inspiration, another to book flights and yet another to check out travel maps. For this reason, Microsoft has created a one-stop travel shop in Bing that provides aggregated information about destinations, itineraries, flights, hotels and more all in a visually rich format.

The software giant’s Travel Guide serves as a jumping-off point for all of your trip-planning needs. You can see suggested itineraries under the “What to see & do” section or click on “Book flights” or “Book hotels” to get a full-page booking experience.

As Microsoft has partnered with top travel industry players to help you find competitive rates, you can be sure you’re getting the best prices. Also, if you’re pressed for time, Bing now offers bundled hotel and flight packages to make booking a breeze.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Travel Guide home page

If you just want to plan a future trip without a specific destination in mind, Bing’s Travel Guide home page is a great starting point to find further inspiration. The page rotates through top destinations worldwide and if one catches your eye, you can click on “Explore more” to visit the detailed page for that place.

Those seeking stunning landscapes can click on “Experience in 360” to check out immersive views of potential destinations while those more interested in a destination’s local cuisine can explore Bing’s “Eat & Drink” carousel to see all of the dishes and beverages they can taste there. Meanwhile, travelers on a budget can scroll down to the “Coupons & Deals” section to browse cost-conscious options for flights, trip packages and more.

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Although you may not be traveling anywhere anytime soon, at least you’ll be properly prepared for your next trip.

Bing’s new travel experience is currently only available in the US though Microsoft plans to make it available in more markets in the near future according to a new blog post.

Author: Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal and TechRadar. He has been a tech enthusiast for as long as he can remember and has spent countless hours researching and tinkering with PCs, mobile phones and game consoles.

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