Microsoft is, Once Again, Passively Aggressively Asking You to Use Bing

Microsoft is, Once Again, Passively Aggressively Asking You to Use Bing

Microsoft, in being the best advertising billboard for competitor Apple, loves injecting pop-ups into Windows to advertise its latest endeavours, from free upgrades to Windows 11 to begging users to switch away from Google. Now, after a while historically, Microsoft takes the hint and axes the pop-up, but recently it’s actually brought its Bing-spruiking pop-up back. Huzzah.

The pop-up, shown below, appears when using Google Chrome, and encourages the user to try out Bing as their default search engine (it’s also not the first time a Bing pop-up has been injected into Windows). It’s part of the latest Windows update, and its copped a fair amount of media attention – mostly because it just looks like malware.

Never mind the fact that Bing is currently, and has always been, the only search engine option for Windows 10/11’s inbuilt search tool on the taskbar/in the start menu, but Microsoft wants you to use Bing as your main search engine. Please, please, please use Bing.

This time around, the ad comes with a much heavier plug for the search engine’s AI capabilities, with GPT-4 built-in. It’s an ad so committed to its quality that it notes how easy it is to switch back.

Microsoft, I’m talking directly to you right now: You didn’t kill Clippy for this. You know this is bad and that annoying paperclip should have shown you the way.

But no, the company is committed to the bit somehow. “This is a one-time notification giving people the choice to set Bing as their default search engine on Chrome,” Microsoft director of communications Caitlin Roulston said to The Verge.

“We value providing our customers with choice, so there is an option to dismiss the notification.”

Sounds like Microsoft should value user experience more, if people wanted to use Bing, they would.

This is on top of the fact that Windows is incessant about people using its inbuilt programs. If you type ‘Chrome’ or ‘Google Chrome’ into the search bar in Edge, for example, you’re immediately presented with a message at the top of the page urging you to give Edge a try, followed by another message on the next page. It’s honestly the most fun part of any Windows/laptop review I do.

I guess it could be worse – they could do pop-ups like OperaGX.

Image: Gizmodo Australia

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