Microsoft has a history of “encouraging” their users into using a specific browser, and this is just the latest story. VentureBeat reports that the first time you search “Firefox” or “Chrome” in Bing on your Windows 10 device, you’ll get a banner over the search results that says “Microsoft recommends Edge for Windows 10.” A “Learn why” button links to a page filled with reasons to use Edge.
The Inquirer picked up the story, but added that they weren’t able to replicate the results because they’re in the UK. Unlike in the United States, Microsoft has gotten into trouble before with the European Commission in regard to its web browser. That led to a rule that users must be offered many different browser options — a company can’t pre-choose the default for you. The Inquirer says the rule expired last year, but served to open the browser market to a more even competition.
A Microsoft spokesperson talked with VentureBeat and confirmed the messages, and made a case for Edge by saying it was “designed exclusively for Windows 10 with features and functionality that enhance the browsing experience.” The spokesperson said the intent of the banner messages, which don’t appear every time, is “to provide people with quick, easy information that can help them get to know these experiences better.” But Microsoft says that there is still the option to choose a different default browser and search engine if Edge isn’t your favorite.
And thank goodness for that. Because if not, there would be pandemonium in the streets.