Microsoft tests rival browser 'warnings'

Windows 10

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update was recently announced by Microsoft

When you download the installer for these browsers and try to install them, the Edge prompt will pop up, suggesting that "Edge is the faster, safer browser designed for Windows". This pop-up won't stop you from installing your third-party browser, as it gives you the change to "Install Anyway", but it also gives you the option of opening Edge instead.

When you download the Chrome or Firefox installer and launch it, Windows will first show a "warning" telling you that you already have Microsoft Edge installed.

The existence of such a pop-up alert will be controversial with some PC users.

Microsoft will probably start using this "app recommendations" feature to push other apps in the future, too.

In any event, users will still be free to ignore Microsoft's entirely baseless warnings about installing a rival browser.

The BBC understands that, unlike some of the other new features in the prototype being tested by Insiders, the warnings will not be rolled out to the larger population of Windows 10 users in the next update. I mean, really, really wants you to use it.

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It shows you the problem: Microsoft added a new "Show me app recommendations" feature, which is enabled by default. A user who initiates the installation of a browser does so on objective.

The app suggestions feature is part of the "Apps & Features" setting in the Settings app, where you can control whether or not you can install apps from outside the Microsoft Store. That's the question Microsoft keeps asking itself, and like the lead in a romantic comedy, it's trying its darndest to make sure you take it back, rather than falling for the superficial charms of hunky Firefox or the Chrome lothario.

Microsoft's next major Windows 10 update will arrive in October.

Prompts of that sort can be turned off by using the link under the buttons on the popup.

Microsoft has released Edge for Android and the browser has been well received by Android users. More people use Mozilla Firefox than use Microsoft Edge. To do that requires focusing on making Edge better than the alternatives and marketing it as such.

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