Microsoft Edge is bombarding people with ads

Microsoft Edge
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Advertisements have begun appearing in  the lower right corner of Microsoft Edge (opens in new tab) following a recent update to Microsoft's browser (opens in new tab).

These ads or recommendations are for service such as Microsoft Start according to a new report (opens in new tab) from Windows Latest. For those unfamiliar, Microsoft Start is a rebranded MSN feed that provides users with “personalized trusted news, plus games, weather and more – all in one app”.

Apparently Microsoft has begun experimenting with showing more ads and recommendations that appear when a user opens the New Tab Page (opens in new tab) in its browser. While they can be distracting and somewhat annoying, these pop-ups can be easily dismissed by clicking on the “Maybe later” button.

At the same time, Microsoft appears to be using its new Assistance from Microsoft Edge feature to collect search results from users in an effort to improve its Bing search engine (opens in new tab). While the data collected by the software giant isn't associated with users or their devices, not everyone wants to hand over their search data even if doing so does help improve their preferred search engine.

Office integration

Microsoft is also testing out a new Office (opens in new tab) integration for its browser that will allow users to access Microsoft 365 (opens in new tab) apps directly from Edge.

On the Microsoft Edge Canary Channel, the company has added a new option called “New Office Tab” to the browser's context menu that can be accessed by right-clicking on an open window. This new feature will allow users to open Word, PowerPoint and Excel directly in Edge without having to leave the browser.

It also appears that Microsoft's new Office integration won't be exclusive to Microsoft 365 subscribers and anyone with a Microsoft account will be able to take advantage of it. However, just like with “Read Aloud (opens in new tab)”, “Add page to Collections (opens in new tab)” and the other options in the context menu, users won't be able to disable it.

As Microsoft's new Office integration is currently being tested out in Edge Canary, it likely won't be long until this feature comes to the stable version of the company's browser.

Looking to protect your privacy while browsing the web? Check out our roundup of the best VPN (opens in new tab) services and our list of the best anonymous browsers (opens in new tab)

Via Windows Latest (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.