It looks like Microsoft will be dropping its plans to show a “warning” pop-up when Windows 10 users try to install Chrome or Firefox instead of sticking with its Edge web browser, after a backlash against its heavy-handed approach.
The warning message was included in a recent Windows 10 preview, which is an early version of Windows 10 that allows users to test out new features. In the Windows 10 preview, when users tried installing Firefox or Chrome, the two most popular desktop web browsers, a window appeared saying that the user already has “Microsoft Edge – the safer, faster browser for Windows 10”, with a highlighted button to open Microsoft Edge, and a grey button allowing you to install the browser anyway.
However, there was a visceral backlash from users, who didn’t appreciate Microsoft trying to dictate what browser they were using. While Edge is a big improvement over Microsoft’s previous browser, Internet Explorer, it is still lagging behind Firefox, and especially Chrome, when it comes to user numbers and features.
Thank you, early testers
If this is indeed the decision Microsoft has made, it shows that it is taking the feedback it gets from users who download early preview versions of Windows 10 seriously. Preview versions allow Microsoft to see how popular – or not – new features are, as well as how well they work.
It looks like the new pop-up hasn't been going down well with the testers, so it’s good to see Microsoft respond by dropping it.
However, don’t expect this to be the last time Microsoft tries to convince you to stick with Edge. The company seems pretty desperate to keep users using Edge, and you’ll have probably noticed that Windows 10 already includes a number of messages that show up when you search for Chrome or Firefox in Edge, as well as windows that appear talking about the benefits of Edge.
While we understand Microsoft’s desire, it’s also annoying as these nagging prompts can get in the way of downloading the web browser you want to use. In our view, Microsoft would be much better off working on Edge to provide features and an experience that convinces users to stick with it, rather than using these sorts of tactics.
- Our pick of the best web browsers 2018
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.