Microsoft is recently drawing flak from Windows 10 users after the company seems to have continued a strategy that promotes the Edge browser to users who have opted to use Google's Chrome as default browser.
The blatant promotion was first published online by PCWorld's editor Brad Chacos. In a tweet, he posted a screenshot showing a conspicuously floating bubble over the Edge browser icon, asking the user click-bait questions such as whether he wants to earn money while surfing with Edge.
What is this shit? Ugh. Native Windows 10 pop-up ads WITHOUT Edge open AND with Chrome set as my default app. pic.twitter.com/h4Tqo7Y96y
— Brad Chacos (@BradChacos) November 3, 2016
Similar complaints have surfaced since then. Notable cases include a user's screenshot of how the system has nagged him with a warning that Chrome drains laptop battery faster.
Stung by the onslaught of criticisms, Microsoft immediately tried to douse the controversy by saying that the Edge promotion is not an ad but is merely part of the Windows Tips Notifications.
"As we continue to improve Microsoft Edge, we want to inform our users of great new features that are available both in the browser and throughout Windows 10. Windows Tips notifications were created to provide people with quick, easy information that can help them enhance their Windows 10 experience," a Microsoft spokesperson told Softpedia.
This could be the mechanism behind the popup reminders that have consistently dogged Windows 10 users, reminding them of the Windows 10 deadline and Bing Rewards, among others. Microsoft even managed to insert ads about the Microsoft Office and even applications from other developers.
To be fair, Chacos' experience has not been the same for all Windows 10 users. There are those who never received the notifications at all. However, one should note that the Edge promotions are most likely to be absent in the desktops of users who already use the Edge or use it alternately with Chrome.
The issue has been aggravated further as Microsoft stubbornly reinstates these push notifications despite getting manually turned off. For example, if you have turned the tips, tricks and suggestions option off in the Windows 10 Notification menu, then you must know that Microsoft has turned it on again with the rollout of the Anniversary Update. It now appears that the same cycle happens every time Microsoft releases an update.
At this point, there is no known permanent fix to the Edge problem, which some are now increasingly branding as a nagware. Users can remove the icon in the task bar, but that is not a guarantee that the so-called Windows Tips notifications will go away for good.
With the intrusive push notifications, Microsoft could be achieving the opposite in its Edge promotion objective. Instead of generating goodwill, the brand could be equated to negative experience for users who feel that the company is invading their private desktop space.