Microsoft has never been a fan of Windows users downloading Chrome instead of using Edge, but the company has now stepped up its campaign to keep people using its built-in browser. Windows 10 and Windows 11 have both started displaying new prompts when people navigate to the Chrome download page, in an effort to discourage people from installing Google’s rival browser.
These new prompts, spotted by Neowin, include messages like:
- “Microsoft Edge runs on the same technology as Chrome, with the added trust of Microsoft.”
- “That browser is so 2008! Do you know what’s new? Microsoft Edge.”
- “‘I hate saving money,’ said no one ever. Microsoft Edge is the best browser for online shopping.”
We’ve been able to confirm at least one prompt on a Windows 11 PC, and it appears these new prompts are also appearing for some Windows 10 users, too. These aren’t pop-ups or prompts you’d typically find inside a website, either. They’re rendered natively by Edge, and other websites aren’t able to display similar prompts.
That makes these a little different from the messages that Google displays when you’re running Edge and use its online services, which appear within webpages when you visit services like Google Search and Gmail. Google uses these to try to encourage users to switch to Chrome over Edge.
Microsoft’s new prompts come more than three years after the company first started testing ways to warn Windows 10 users not to install Chrome or Firefox. Those tests were never rolled out publicly, but these prompts are now starting to appear for Windows users.
Microsoft has also been making it harder to switch default browsers in Windows 11 and forcing people into using Edge through Windows updates. These latest prompts also follow widespread criticism of Microsoft building a “buy now, pay later” tool directly into Edge that prompts users to use a short-term financing service.