Microsoft should recommend Edge like Google recommends Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 6, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Internet, Microsoft Edge

VentureBeat reported yesterday that Microsoft was displaying recommendations on Bing when users use Microsoft Edge to search for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox on the search engine the first time on the company's new Windows 10 operating system.

The recommendation is displayed on top of the results stating that "Microsoft recommends Microsoft Edge for Windows 10".

There is a learn why button which leads to a page explaining the benefits of Microsoft Edge (geolocked).

It is clear that Microsoft wants Windows 10 customers to use Microsoft Edge and not another browser, but the way the company tries to prevent it makes little sense.

microsoft recommends edge

It seems reasonable to assume that most users searching for another browser using Edge do so because they want to download it. They have already made up their mind and I'd question the effectiveness of trying to persuade users with the help of the recommendation banner.

If you compare Microsoft effort to Google's efforts to advertise Chrome, you will notice that Google's efforts are way more effective.

When you visit Google properties using a browser that is not Chrome, a prompt may be displayed informing you that there is "a better way to browse the web".

a better way to browse the web

This is placed prominently on major Google properties such as Search and one main reason why Chrome managed to snatch lots of browser market share in little time since it was first released.

If you compare the two marketing efforts, you will notice differences. Google displays the prompt without the user becoming active on its properties while Microsoft displays it only -- and only once -- when users search for Chrome or Firefox using Bing.

Microsoft does not display recommendations to use Microsoft Edge if Windows 10 users access Microsoft properties such as Bing or with Firefox or Chrome.

Doing so would -- likely -- be more effective than displaying that single recommendation message when users search for specific terms on Bing only.

Personally, I'd like to see a level playing field for all browser makers as Google's current practice puts companies like Mozilla and others at a serious disadvantage.

Now You: What's your take on this?

Microsoft should recommend Edge like Google does Chrome
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Microsoft should recommend Edge like Google does Chrome
Microsoft displays Edge recommendations on Bing when users search for Chrome or Firefox on the search engine.
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  1. ndeans said on September 9, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Personally, I detest companies that keep sticking ads in my face. Too much aggression actually has the opposite effect on me. It’s because of Googles unrelenting efforts to saturate my life with their brand that I dumped Chrome (it’s not THAT great anyway) and I dumped Google. Today my approach to the web is Firefox and DuckDuckGo and I don’t miss a thing. I give Microsoft a thumbs up for limiting their suggestion to the precise moment they think someone is looking for an alternate browser. It’s encouraging. Maybe I’ll switch from Android to Windows on my phone too.

  2. Bazza said on September 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I bought a Chromebook for travelling – it works well – It then made sense to switch to Chrome on my Windows machine – that way my hundreds of bookmarks were in synch whichever system I was using

  3. dblink said on September 7, 2015 at 12:58 am

    For those rare sites where a plug-in is needed, I open them in IE and pin them to the taskbar or Start menu. Other than that, I’m diggin’ Edge.

  4. Guest said on September 7, 2015 at 12:07 am

    I have an idea that Vivaldi isn’t spyware, the developers probably just don’t want people copying all their hard work and making clones, hence the closed source.

    1. smaragdus said on September 7, 2015 at 12:25 am

      I do not mind that Vivaldi is closed source, Opera was too. I object to the real spying on users Vivaldi performs every day. An excerpt from Vivaldi change log:
      “To be able to serve you, our users and friends, in the best possible way, we need to know a little about you. We need to know how many you are, what HW/OS you have and where in the world and which language you use. This helps us make the right priorities on our resources. Starting with this build, Vivaldi will connect with our servers for this purpose only once per day. We do not collect any usage data. So, on first run Vivaldi generates a unique ID for your installation.
      Then, every 24 hours, your browser, if running, will send via https, the following info:
      The unique user ID
      Browser user agent
      CPU architecture
      Screen Resolution
      Accept Language”

  5. smaragdus said on September 6, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    “Personally, I’d like to see a level playing field for all browser makers as Google’s current practice puts companies like Mozilla and others at a serious disadvantage.”
    No- Mozilla lost not because of Google but because of their own idiocy- they destroyed Firefox themselves. So many features have been removed from Firefox that now it is absolutely useless even in the form of Tor Browser.

    Edge is so terrible, so worse than even IE that it is doomed. Unfortunately after the demise of Firefox and Opera soon there will be just one browser- evil Chrome and its innumerable clones. Vivaldi is spyware just like Chrome so it cannot be an alternative. While Otter with only several developers will never be able to compete.

    1. ndeans said on September 9, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Firefox has moved to a two version approach, where those features you say they are removing are actually going into the developer edition of the browser, which I highly recommend. Google just announced they are discontinuing support for NPAPI plug-ins. They are planning to do the same thing with Chrome that Microsoft is doing with Edge… appeal to consumers who don’t have anything else to do but shop and watch YouTube videos. For that they are offering “simple-and-fast”. If Google doesn’t do this they will loose that space because when you extend Chrome with plug-ins, it *IS* slower than Edge. If they’re smart, they will do the same thing Microsoft is doing, putting “simple-and-fast”, where simple users can get to it quickly, but keeping the heavy-weight (IE) in the wings where the power users can still find it.

      If you’re looking for something that doesn’t spy, you should look into Pale Moon, or some of the obscure browsers recommended by the GNU and FSF sites. Out of the main browsers, I still say FF is the most controllable when it comes to security.

  6. George S. said on September 6, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    After all that Microsoft has been through with the EU, I’m surprised they even put an Edge shortcut on the taskbar. (PS: Internet Explorer still exists in Windows 10, but is in Windows Accessories, with no desktop shortcut by default.)

  7. beergas said on September 6, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Too soon to deal with still limited MS Edge especially regarding poor add-ons where Chrome really shines.
    Maybe it time Edge can be a backup choice but not now.

  8. Bryan said on September 6, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Microsoft should concern themselves with why users want to download Chrome on Windows 10, rather than trying to promote a product that has only a fraction of the functionality as Chrome.

    The reason people download Chrome on 10 is because Edge is missing so much and the user experience does not reveal a faster browser as claimed..

    Its BS Microsoft marketing again…and people are catching on to the fluff that doesn’t accurately reflect the fluffed up product.

  9. Steve said on September 6, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    The unmentioned difference between Google and everyone else is that Google commands a huge share of the search industry, so anything on its page is going to be much more effective than anything on Microsoft’s websites. Apple users are almost exclusively already using Safari, and on both Windows and Mac systems, many users I know who have Chrome ask me what it is, because they’re not sure how it got there or what it does.
    Microsoft’s biggest problem with Edge is lack of plug-in support. When people can’t play their freemium games on Facebook, or Norton Antivirus warns them that it can’t work in Edge, they panic. It doesn’t help that Microsoft buries IE in Windows 10. I’d wager 95% of the Windows 10 users don’t know that they can click the … menu in Edge (most of them don’t know it’s a menu) and select “Open with Internet Explorer” to see a site with Java, and all the other plug-ins they’re used to using.
    Microsoft shouldn’t recommend Edge like Google recommends Chrome: Microsoft should fix Edge so that it can compete with Chrome and then people might use it.

    1. ann said on September 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      >Microsoft shouldn’t recommend Edge like Google recommends Chrome: Microsoft should fix Edge so that it can compete with Chrome and then people might use it.

      well said and that’s the end of it.

  10. Pierre said on September 6, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    It’s not really useful recomending Edge because i’t already installed in W10 and people who installs W10 generally know Edge exists (Personnaly I don’t like it)

  11. Pierre said on September 6, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    In google, when i search for mozilla firefox, I have absolutely nothing about Chrome (maybe because it’s already installed ?)

    1. Corky said on September 6, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      The “a better way to browse the web” Chrome advert only appears if your browser has no cookie from Google (afaik), once you close the advert it won’t show up again as it stores that info in the cookie.

    2. Tom Hawack said on September 6, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      Maybe do you have an ad-blocker or a dedicated style sheet/script which handles those intrusions? That’s my case. Makes be breath.

      1. Pierre said on September 6, 2015 at 5:23 pm

        No, without the adblocker it’s the same (with Firefox)
        However, In IE11 and Edge, I have it (download Chrome) before searching for anything, (without searching for Firefox !)
        Searching for Firefox doesn’t change anything

  12. insanelyapple said on September 6, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Considering how much data Microsoft is mining from users under mighty cover of “telemetry” bullshit and lack of add-ons platform in Edge, I wouldn’t recommend switching to that browser at all.

    And as for Google: they’re nothing but annoying with their pushing for switching users to Chrome – in every possible place of their services UI and of course smuggling browser as 3rd party offer in various installers. Not mention they also got into shady business of collecting data – it’s nothing new of course in their case but always listening component of their browser voice search feature (despite of claims that it’s not active until it hears specific phrase – but then, how the hell it would get it in first place?) makes everything even much more disgraceful.

    More often I’m getting damn feeling that some corporations are turning into some monsters like Stasi, SB or KGB with all our collected data and the old infamous quote “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” may become true.

    1. Jupster said on September 6, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      Yes, because the tech darlings that are Apple and Google don’t do exactly the same thing, in Googles case, much much worse.

      But never let the facts get in the way of some good old fashioned Microsoft bashing right?

      1. marc klink said on September 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm

        Exactly. Microsoft are such rat bastards these days that even if they get blamed for the wrong thing, it’s still OK, for they are at fault on so many other things.

        Edge should be avoided like the plague, simply on aesthetic reasons. It looks like the work of some high schoolers on a term project that was not given enough time to complete. The stylings were done by Artists without Talent®.

      2. point said on September 7, 2015 at 9:00 am

        Nobody says they’re better, but this article is not a comparison. Also you seem to forget, that in this instance MS pushes a browser (that’s limping way behind the other browsers in regards of web standards!) that is only running on a ~2 months old operating system (and on not even one of their previous OSs), also, both webkit and chromium is open source (AND multi-platform), and there are a multitude of forks of those, in which at least people try to get rid of the phoning-home “features” and other privacy invading practices. That simply cannot be done with Edge, neither the decoupling from the OS/platform, nor the scrapping out of unwanted pesky behaviours.

    2. Jeff said on September 6, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      “More often I’m getting damn feeling that some corporations are turning into some monsters like Stasi, SB or KGB”

      And in the U.S. we have our big data collecting corporations working *directly with* the gov’t, giving the NSA back doors and the keys to the kingdom.

      People might laugh when someone says we’re heading to an Orwellian future, but it certainly appears to be happening, IMO.

      1. Jeff said on September 6, 2015 at 9:48 pm

        @insanelyapple, yes, I also dumped Dropbox awhile ago. My ‘cloud’ nowadays is a 3TB external HDD. I don’t see much point in storing stuff on a stranger’s HDD/server.

      2. insanelyapple said on September 6, 2015 at 7:26 pm

        Condoleezza Rice was taken to the Dropbox cloud storage service’s board of directors… That was the moment I stopped using that service at all.

      3. Tom Hawack said on September 6, 2015 at 5:37 pm

        Perhaps time to engage into a controlled schizophrenia with a double identity, one for all electronically conducted relations, another for a very close(d) and controlled circle of friends. Friends would know their true identities and them only. It’s not that easy to pretend to be whom we are not. Many years ago here in France when the Minitel was in place I remember having tried to be a gorgeous young lady, Nathalie when I read on a dedicated chat a guy in search for love. It wasn’t easy but I think it worked, at least for what he told me when at the end I confessed my play (you never know, he could have understood since the beginning and reversed the charges!). Now add to that a brand new life when pretending one, start briefing yourself, beware of nasty questions and be prepared to handle all situations where your play could be uncovered… and welcome to Orwell’s future. Please take a seat.
        What? I’m told some already have multiple identities and lives on social sites? Really?!

  13. Tom Hawack said on September 6, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I’m not sure auto-promotion is really beneficial for a company. I don’t know if we are a wide majority or not to think and say out loud “Paradise? If I choose it”. I know that in my area — which lives mostly free of demagogy and sectarian approaches — we mainly dislike these incentives, from whoever they come from. But again, unless you’re in the business and have the correct stats, it’s impossible to know what is relevant to a majority (without votes).
    Personally I receive these calls for love (and engagement) more as a glue pot than as a motivation to try. Gets on my nerves, close to a “Move off, @%£$€+-/**!! … :)

    1. DVD Rambo said on September 6, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      What? Reads like a bot post.

  14. Pants said on September 6, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    EvilCorp are such assholes – pushing auto-opt-in chrome with so many products, and the myriad underhand sneaky ways it effectively forces users to update or become the default browser is disgusting (task scheduling, services and more). The number of clients I meet for the first time and I ask them, “Oh, you’re using Chrome. What made you choose that?” – Answer “No idea, it just turned up one day” etc.

    Microsoft pushing an Edge reminder to those on Windows 10 makes sense – eg Cortana and other “benefits”. Bing is their search engine – let them push a notification. Google do far worse.

  15. oi said on September 6, 2015 at 11:41 am

    I have to disagree with you about the reason that Chrome got so market share.
    The main reason why that happened was the fact that Chrome installer was bundled with other free application installers, everyone just clicks Next, Next, Next and magically appears on the users desktop. Also you can try to install Adobe Flash via on IE and check what the download process also offers.
    Nowadays, even Opera is using the same tactic. AFAIK Mozilla never did this.

    I’m saying this based on daily experience with the end-users and the feedback they give to me. Not even once they said to have clicked on that “Get Google Chrome” box on the Search page.

    1. David said on September 7, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      Yes, this.

    2. Corky said on September 7, 2015 at 9:10 am

      Well said, I’d also like to add that most normal (non tech literate) people probably wouldn’t even know what browser they use, to most people it’s just the Internet.

      1. oi said on September 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm

        exactly. and we also have those users that say that the Internet isn’t working when is down.

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