In what is apparently limited testing being delivered to just some folks at the moment, a small pop-up panel is appearing from the taskbar, highlighting that you can pin the sites (and web apps) you most commonly use to the taskbar (with them opening in Edge, naturally).
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“Go straight to top sites”, the pop-up reads, adding that you can “pin your favorite sites to quickly open tabs directly from the taskbar.”
Windows Latest spotted this development and observes that users who are on the Windows 10 October 2020 Update (the latest version) are receiving this – or at least some are – and that it doesn’t matter what you have set as your default browser (even Microsoft Edge users, and indeed those already making use of pinned sites, will still see this message, rather mystifyingly in the latter case).
If you do click on “Try it” in the pop-up, Windows 10 will fire up the so-called Edge taskbar pinning wizard, which takes you through the process of pinning websites or web apps (PWAs) to the taskbar, offering some common suggestions of what you could pin (like Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Reddit, and, er, Microsoft News).
It’s hardly much of a ‘wizard’, then, but it does highlight a capability that some users may not be aware of. Equally, though, it’s another intrusive prompt from the system that will likely rub many other users up the wrong way.
Furthermore, as Windows Latest points out, at the end of the wizard, you are urged to try Microsoft’s ‘recommended browser settings’, and if you do so, that entails switching the default browser to Edge (with Bing).
So, that’s yet another attempt to get users to switch to Edge, of course – one of many in recent history.
As ever, Microsoft really needs to be careful around stepping over the line when it comes to overdoing its promotional activity (something the firm has definitely been guilty of in the past with Windows 10). The new Chromium-based Edge is actually forging ahead with its market share nicely anyway, so the danger is that annoying people with too many pop-ups over the months might actually detract from that forward progression.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).