Microsoft’s latest desperate move to get people to use Edge could annoy Windows 10 users

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If you’ve been using Windows 10 for any amount of time, you’ll have probably noticed Microsoft’s at times quite heavy-handed attempts to get you to use its Edge web browser, and with the Windows 10 October 2020 Update, it’s getting even more pushy.

If you’ve downloaded and installed the new Windows 10 October 2020 Update, and you have the Edge browser icon on your taskbar (which many people will, as it’s added by default), you may start seeing a new pop-up that encourages you to try the ‘new Microsoft Edge’.

It seems that this pop up shouldn’t show if you’ve got Edge already open, but there are reports that it is behaving erratically, and may bug you to use Edge… even when you’re using it.

With Microsoft having already added Edge adverts to the Start Menu, Windows Search and on the web, its attempts to get people to use the browser can come across as a bit desperate – and this new pop-up probably won’t be warmly received either, especially if it’s popping up even if you’re using Edge.

Enough, already

It’s a shame Microsoft feels the need to strongarm people into using Edge. The new version, which is based on the same Chromium engine that powers Google’s all-conquering Chrome browser, is a genuine improvement over the original Edge, yet Microsoft is struggling to get people to use it, despite the built-in advantage of having it automatically installed in Windows 10.

While the company hopes these pop-ups extolling the virtues of Edge will get people to give it a try, we’re not too keen on the approach. If we’ve made our decision about which browser to use, Windows 10 should respect that.

If you agree, and you don’t want to see those pop-ups, you can either dismiss them by clicking on them or the Edge icon, or turn off ‘Tips and Suggestions’ from the Settings > System > Notifications & Actions menu.

It seems like Microsoft may have noticed the unexpected behaviour of the ad, and the fact that it is annoying people, with Windows Latest reporting that an anonymous source had contacted the website to say that “Microsoft is looking into this unexpected behaviour and they might pause the campaign soon.”

As we’ve said before, we’d prefer Microsoft win over new users to Edge based on the browser's (admittedly many) merits, rather than nagging users until they give in. We've contacted Microsoft for comment to see if it is indeed thinking of stopping these adverts.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

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.