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Latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build tries to dissuade users from installing Chrome or Firefox

This prompt pops up when you try to install Chrome or Firefox in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build. (Source: Neowin)
This prompt pops up when you try to install Chrome or Firefox in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build. (Source: Neowin)
Microsoft is doing an A/B testing of a new functionality in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview that reminds users of Microsoft Edge whenever they try to install another browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Microsoft, however, said that this is limited only to the Insider Preview Builds for feedback and will not appear in the final shipping release.
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Microsoft has managed to stir the hornet's nest once again. In the latest Windows 10 Insider Builds, users have reported seeing a prompt that pops up when they try to install a third-party browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox reminding them Edge is already installed. Luckily though, it's just a prompt and not a block so it can very well be sidelined. 

Microsoft says the new prompt is part of an experiment and is A/B testing it to gauge community feedback. The idea seems to be to interrupt the install process for third-party browsers in an effort to drive adoption of Edge as the default browser. According to NetMarketShare, Edge holds just 4.29% of the market as opposed to 62% for Chrome, 11.87% for Internet Explorer, and 10.79% for Firefox. Seeing the numbers, it is understandable why Microsoft would want to encourage users to adopt Edge but Insiders and Windows users in general are apparently miffed. 

The wording in the prompt looks like it has been neatly crafted to avoid any sort of antitrust issues. It doesn't mention or deride any browser by name. Clicking 'Install anyway' installs the 'other browsers' without issues. Since this is an A/B test, not all installations of Build 17755 show this prompt. This was also confirmed by a Microsoft spokesperson to ZDNet.

We've tested this functionality with Insiders only - The Windows Insider Program enables Microsoft to test different features, functionality and garner feedback before rolling out broadly. Customers remain in control and can choose the browser of their choice."

Attempts to make users stick to a particular browser are not new. Microsoft did the same during the Windows 9x era with Internet Explorer earning quite a bum rap that haunts them even today. Google, too, throws up prompts to use Chrome whenever Google sites are visited using Edge or Firefox. The 'Try Microsoft Edge' prompt shows up when visiting Microsoft sites from Chrome as well. Apparently, Firefox still remains the less interfering browser of the big three.

Prompts within a browser and those within an OS are two different things, though and users will have starkly polarizing opinions about Microsoft's move — which is probably what the company wants to know in the first place. 

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1355 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 09 > Latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build tries to dissuade users from installing Chrome or Firefox
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2018-09-13 (Update: 2018-09-13)