Windows 10 now has ads for Edge browser in its search box – is Microsoft going too far in pestering users?

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10 is now showing adverts within the search box which are attempting to persuade people to switch to Microsoft Edge, in yet another move to promote the revamped browser which runs the risk of starting to irritate people – given how prevalent these ads are seemingly becoming.

If you’re running Windows 10 and you click on the search box now, odds are you’ll see an advert in the panel that pops up, as spotted by Windows Latest – this is certainly the case on our PC.

These promo messages contain much the same text as the ones we’ve just seen appearing in, Microsoft’s webmail service. On our Windows 10 PC, the search box advert was urging us to get the Edge browser as it was ‘built to bring you the best of the web’.

Windows 10 Edge ad in search box

(Image credit: Microsoft)

And in just the same way as the ads served to users, it’s fortunately an easy matter to get rid of them. Simply click on the ‘X’ to close it, and you will be bothered by these messages no longer.

That said, there is certainly an argument that you shouldn’t be bothered by them in the first place – or at least not in so many places across Windows.

An ad too far?

Microsoft has already implemented these kind of ads with the Start menu in Windows 10, where it was planting suggestions to Firefox users that they should switch to Microsoft Edge, and as mentioned, we’ve seen ads in most recently – and now the search bar. What’s next: File Explorer? (That isn’t without precedent: a few years back, we saw ads for OneDrive appear in the beating heart of the interface of Windows 10).

Of course, if Windows 10 users feel that Microsoft is starting to flood them with adverts for the new Edge, then no matter how good the revamped Chromium-based version of the web browser is – and it’s received some pretty positive feedback thus far – the danger is that folks will push back, and sentiment could turn against Edge.

In other words, the adverts could have the opposite than intended effect, particularly if this starts to remind Windows 10 users of Microsoft’s behavior in the past, not just with the aforementioned OneDrive adverts, but with the general massive – and undoubtedly intrusive – push to get Windows 7 or 8 users to upgrade in the first year after Windows 10 was released.

We’ll just have to see if more ads for Edge start popping up elsewhere in Windows 10, but Microsoft needs to tread with caution, for sure.

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).