Is Microsoft adding too many controversial features to its Edge browser?
Many Internet users welcomed Microsoft's decision to retire the aging Internet Explorer browser and the classic version of Microsoft Edge in favor of a new Chromium-based browser.
Some criticized Microsoft for strengthening Chromium, fearing that the move would give Google even more power over the future of the Internet. Others liked the leaner version of Edge that offered better web compatibility and performance than the old version.
Companies and organizations that relied on Internet Explorer technology can use the Internet Explorer Mode of Edge to continue using these applications and services.
First versions of Microsoft Edge were released in 2019, and Microsoft surprised many by releasing Edge for other platforms. The classic version of Edge was a Windows 10 exclusive feature, and one of the main reasons why the browser never managed to gain a sizeable share of the market. The new Edge is available for all supported Windows platforms, Linux, Mac and Android.
Microsoft's change in strategy, from a Windows 10 exclusive browser to a browser available on all platforms, seemed to pay off. Users could finally sync data between all versions of Edge, and use it on other platforms.
Recently, criticism of Microsoft Edge and Microsoft's overall strategy concerning the browser has increased. Many users on Windows 11, Microsoft's newest operating system, are getting frustrated with the company's efforts to keep the Edge browser the system default browser. Some links, for instance web search results and widget links, use a special link scheme that forces these links to open in Edge exclusively. There is no technical reason for that, only to enforce the use of Edge on the system.
Programs that allowed users to bypass the restriction have been rendered unusable mostly by recent changes to the operating system. Microsoft has made it harder to change the default browser when compared to previous Windows versions, and the company has been criticized for it by competitors such as Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner.
Microsoft has also been criticized for a number of features that it added to Edge recently. Some of which are only available in certain regions, others have been introduced in development editions of Edge.
In the past two months alone, Microsoft added a controversial buy now - pay later feature to Edge, which critics say may incentivize Internet users to make purchases that they may not need or can afford otherwise.
Another new feature that has been added recently is a new Games button, which Ashwin reviewed here. Users may click on it to get a list of games and related information, powered by Microsoft's MSN service.
Most of these features can be turned off, but they are usually enabled by default.
Is Microsoft adding too much bloat to Microsoft Edge, and if so, why? Some commenters believe that Microsoft could use a trial and error approach to development of features, to keep those that offer a positive return and drop others that don't. Since Edge is Chromium-based, adding features that Chrome, Edge's main competitor, does not have, may also play a role here.
Others believe that Edge has too many cooks that make decisions, and that this leads to a perceived feature bloat because of a missing overall strategy in regards to the browser.
Now You: Is Microsoft heading in the right direction with Edge? (via Dr. Windows, Born City)
why? it’s called monetizing strategies. G chrome is doing the same stuff but “not in your face”.
you either deal with it or change the browser. let’s all stop complaining about “free” products and use them per our needs.
it’s a race between edge and brave as to who can add the most bloat and shitty features
You know, Brave allows for earning money passively while browsing, it respects privacy while doing this and all of it is opt-in. Nobody hates on this except pointless trolls whose trolling curiously always coincides with the school holidays.
Your browser, Deplatformingfox, ships with loads of useless opt-out crap, Pocket, sponsored pages in new tabs, in the address bar, stupid extension suggestions while browsing, propaganda snippet messages from Censorzilla occasionally as well… Tell me, how are those needed for browsing, hypocrite?
> loads of useless opt-out crap
You are definitely talking about Brave. Just look at the amount of garbage from its biggest fanboy that he has to turn off (+Wallet):
> propaganda snippet messages
Show on the doll where it censored or deplatformed you, poor thing.
This is the same nonsense as reminding Brendan Eich of his homophobic donation many years ago. Pathetic attempts to throw more dirt from impotent anger and irrational hatred. In reality, nothing happened.
> Brave allows for earning money
This is always the biggest LOL about this Chrome skin. How much revenue is there, a dollar a month for whatching crap voluntarily? I can’t even imagine the mental state of a person who is engaged in such a thing. I always suspected that Brave users are very special people.
New Year’s on the way and you have to dig old comments and then throw unnecessary mud. Way to go man/woman.
> Show on the doll where it censored or deplatformed you, poor thing.
You should start by giving me an actual reason to support their bullshit. Show it on the doll if that lifts the burden.
> This is the same nonsense as reminding Brendan Eich of his homophobic donation many years ago.
Thanks for reminding us that he got *deplatformed* for being a Christian, which is a legitimate belief you are legally allowed to hold just like many others.
> How much revenue is there
Whatever the amount, it is more than you get out of using Deplatformingfox, which is also spamming you with ad promotions and Pocket crap. And that should end the debate, really. I am not the idiot here.
@Flappy Bird 365 You are not sure which one will win. Set all your bettings on Brave. But wait until you win the lottery.
I’d happily not complain if only MS stopped trying to ram Edge down everyone’s throats at every possible opportunity. It’s just as bad on my phone these days. I use Outlook for work e-mail, yet if I click a hyperlink in an e-mail, it *insists* on trying to install Edge to open the hyperlink – even though I have Chrome and Firefox on my phone. I now have to long press on the hyperlink, copy it, then manually paste it into Chrome/Firefox to open the damn thing. It’s getting ludicrous!
We have yet to hit bottom.
Firstly, Edge isn’t free. PC manufacturers have to pay Microsoft for the Windows licence (which includes Edge) and the manufacturers then add that to the cost of the device. Just because you don’t pay Microsoft directly, it doesn’t mean you don’t pay for Windows – you do.
And for those of us who sometimes build our own machines, we also have to pay Microsoft for the Windows licence. If you are not an OEM (which home builders are not), technically that means you have to pay for a full Windows retail licence. In the case of Windows 10 Professional, although OEM licences could be found for around £90, the proper retail licence used to be around £180 (these prices are for legitimate Windows licences, not the cheap knock-off licences from sellers using loopholes).
Secondly, I will complain as much as I want – everyone should be. The article author is correct in highlighting the direction Microsoft is taking. I have used Microsoft browsers for 25 years and never have Microsoft been as hostile towards the users’ settings as they have been in the past year. Neither have they added this level of junk to their browsers before. And it’s not just the recent changes that are problematic, but changes they made when moving from legacy Edge to Chromium Edge – things like not being able to change the New Tab Page to a URL of your choice (unless it’s domain joined), or not being able to make the search box on the New Tab Page use the default search engine without forcing the search to the address bar. Microsoft have become increasingly hostile since moving to Chromium Edge and those of us who were using legacy Edge know just how downhill the Edge team have gone since the change to Chromium.
As much as they had a bad reputation in the consumer market, Microsoft never really had that bad a reputation among IT professionals. Microsoft used to be a dependable professional company, particularly for IT professionals. However, I haven’t come across any IT professionals who are happy with the direction Microsoft are going in with Chromium Edge. No-one wants to have to keep checking their policies like a hawk every few weeks to prevent the latest crap Microsoft are pulling – such as tricking their users into accidently changing their default browser or default search engine (which will lead to support calls). Or popup notifications in Edge asking users to send all their search queries, the results returned and what they clicked on to Microsoft – even if the search engine has nothing to do with Microsoft. Or whatever other crap Microsoft decided to add that month. And… if they inadvertently miss a policy – which is inevitable at the rate Microsoft are adding all this crap – the next thing they find is their employees are using some crap like buy-now-pay-later schemes on work machines.
And that’s for Enterprise where the machines are managed; a lot of Windows machines are used by small businesses (like lawyers for example), where they are not managed, and it’s an even bigger pain. For those users, I am starting to see more and more of them using Macs now and I can’t say I blame them as Apple have become a more polished, professional, business-like company than Microsoft. No professional wants Candy Crush in their Start menu, or their Start menu search function to be full of Bing ads, or their new tab page to be full of MSN junk (with constant cookie notices even if you hide as much junk as you can), or Microsoft continuously trying to trick them into changing their settings – settings that they have already chosen – but Microsoft doesn’t like.
Thirdly, some of us decided to use Microsoft Edge because we didn’t like Google’s business practices and monetisation strategies, and Microsoft were a more ethical, business-like alternative at the time. If Microsoft are going to be the same as Google, then there is little reason to use Edge.
Brilliant points, sir. Couldn’t agree more.
You are so right on everything you said. But I would like to add something.
You are correct that many people decided to use Microsoft Edge because they didn’t like Google’s business practices and monetisation strategies, and Microsoft were a more ethical.
But I think that has been only in their head and not the truth.
Microsoft has always been unethical and with worse monetisation strategies than Google.
I will explain why.
Microsoft has created their advertising division the same time Google did. Microsoft is also an advertising company since 2006. People think that their monetisation strategies from advertising and user profiling are better than Google’s because Google’s division succeeded on that and Microsoft failed.
They WANTED to make the sweet money Google makes from advertising and making profiles of their users, they just failed to do it. Google destroyed them.
But the failure of their advertising division doesn’t make them more ethical than Google, they wanted this kind of monetisation money, but they failed.
And I dare to say that they are more unethical than Google, just have a look at the free version of outlook web. Almost 1/3 of the screen is covered with Bing ads, it’s insane. If Google dared to do the same, they would be defamed everywhere.
@JR: Very good comment, thank you.
And what about the PC builders who chose a penguin to be the kernel?
Except they have never been more ethical then Google, both are trash. Windows 10 will be my last, I’m done with both companies. Over 35 years in this business and I’m done having to deal with these psychopaths. Beyond embarrassing to be a part of this total and complete BS.
“or change the browser.”
Except when MS makes it as difficult as possible to do that. People without moderate tech skills won’t even be able to figure out how!
MS has no excuse for its selfish, anti-consumer business schemes. If people really did have a choice they would not be using Edge. Otherwise why would MS go to so much effort to make using other browsers so difficult?
It has been malware/bloatware since it replaced legacy Edge.
If people just stopped posting news about Microsoft, maybe they would eventually go bankrupt and fade into history. One can only wish, of course.
If only modern media would reject MS advertising, too.
Why do browsers grow increasingly fat with features the bulk of users don’t use. All I want is a browser that browses website. I’ll add things that increase privacy, look after passwords and kill advertising. The most I have open is a few tabs. Adding unnecessary features to change background, group and color tabs, etc, etc makes me unhappy. Standard bookmarks is fine by me. Microsoft can add as may opt-in things as they like. Go for it, Games, spreadsheets, Word, database… Anything. Just so long as I get the option NOT to add the feature. That’s a NO to Edge unless Microsoft release a vanilla version.
@Anonymous: want a browser that just browses? Try the minimalist, open source Min browser – https://minbrowser.org/.
And it is probably faster than any of the major browsers, incl. Edge.
How compatible is Min Browser @Klaas Vaak? I am happy with ESR 91, but I have believed that I’d eventually migrate to Edge upon the next ESR release. Maybe not now.
I wished Edge had retained the square tabs. I liked the appearance of Classic Edge.
@Jody Thornton: what do you mean by compatible? Ability to install Chrome or FF extensions on it? You cannot.
It has a built-in adblocker, and it is light-weight.
All the other browsers I use are hardened, esp. for privacy. That’s good, but sometimes they break a good site. If I really do want to see a webpage’s content that’s broken because of that, I use Min.
The best way to find out if it can be useful to you is to try it out. It is open source.
I always try to find out from others before installing. Keep’s one system and registry clean.
By compatibility, I’m referring to site compatibility. Banks work, WebComponents works, the modern web ….. works!
@Jody Thornton: OK, clear. I have not experienced any problems with Min. I understand your hesitancy re the registry. Perhaps you could try it out on an old computer, or in a sandboxed environment, or in a Virtual Machine.
Please note that I have no relationship with Min, so my comments should not be construed as a ‘sale in disguise’.
“features the bulk of users don’t use” How do you know that exactly? Do you have the telemetry data?
I mean, I can understand what you want (Min looks nice if you just want that), but just because you don’t use it doesn’t others are the same. Without actual hard statistics, the claim is just unsubstantiated.
@Unknown person: good point. People often dismiss new features as ‘bloat’ or ‘people don’t use’ when they are just shooting from the hip. Vivaldi is another example of getting condemned like that.
Too much crap? Yup. Do they care what you think? Noup.
Don’t use their crap product. Tell everyone how bad their crap product is. In time their crap product will rot and die.
yes…and its expected, since it come from microsoft. one should expected more than this after win10 forced upgrade incident.
NOOO! Keep them coming! Next a wallet for small iron change!
MS can shape their browser functionality any way they want, it’s their browser. The decision to make it hard for Win11 users to change their default browser is highly controversial though. All those who consider themselves computer illiterate will be doomed. MS policy of making choices for their users is one of the most important reasons why I don’t use Edge and in, fact, prefer Linux for most tasks.
As long as Windows is the most used OS on the planet, they will keep doing it.
The only way it ends is if 50% of those users magically switch to something else, which, of course, is not going to happen.
This is where we are folks: there are no REAL alternatives for people to use and thus teach MS/Apple a lesson. And they know it.
The steps taken by Microsoft are quite consistent. Windows is a machine of happiness, and Edge, as the most powerful browser is a logical part of it. This is not a bloat, it’s a cozy, safe, reliable ecosystem that you don’t need to leave. You open Windows – you open world. Information, games, credits – Microsoft takes care of everything.
Microsoft is love, Microsoft is life.
This is a “chum the ghacks waters” topic if I ever saw one.
Excellent point! And the trophy goes to… LoL
They can add whatever they want to it. It’s their browser.
But what needs to be done is to be forced to have a… visible option to uninstall it or disable it and not bully non tech savvy people that if they change browser or don’t use their crap World War III is coming. Or if they won’t use Bing then you are insecure and aliens will invade in your pc.
And the most important, people’s choices have to be respected and not M$ to revert them back to what they want.
The same way Google had been forced in Android, another monopoly OS like Windows, to add options to choose the default browser and the search engine.
Unfortunately Microsoft today has so much influence in goverments, the USA goverment and the european goverments.
They have contracts will all goverments for Office and Windows and they can push their agenda to our goverments way more than Apple, Google, Amazon which don’t have these kind of contracts.
Microsoft today because of that power thinks they can do whatever they want without being sued for their monopolistic practices.
This needs to stop and our politicians to grow some balls against this monster known as M$FT.
Microsoft needs some REAL competition as does Comcast. Hopefully 5G will finally kill Comcast monopoly stranglehold.
Although many on here knock Firefox, it’s still my preferred browser so I am not affected so much by the Edge bloat.
> Although many on here knock Firefox
Because it doesn’t provide any privacy (despite the advertising) and because it also ships with stupid shit by default, so why criticize Edge for doing the same… Pointless undertaking.
So the same for Brave even for you, eh?
You are not only unknown, you also seem to have no knowledge. Brave provides solid privacy by default even without any modifications (most of which is debloating, really). Firefox doesn’t. You need to (supposedly) “configure” Firefox to “fix” it but all you end up doing is creating a unique setup that doesn’t provide any privacy either. Firefox is not fantastic either way and people around here seem to be dishonest about it.
what a shit bloated browser now with even more bloat – bloated telemetry, bloated rebundled jistsi and bloated bat injection ads and reminders into sites as you browse, as if stealing and hijacking typed urls wasn’t enough, and whitelisting the biggest trackers on the internet, and pinging scammy crypto sites every minute, with dozens of zero day in the wild exploits
it’s a advertising product masquerading as a browser, funded by venture capitalists
@another not so knowledgeable person
> bloated telemetry
Takes one click to turn off under brave://settings/privacy
Still no hidden telemetry pings, out-of-browser telemetry, or remotely installed spyware a.k.a. “experiments”, unlike Deplatformingfox.
> bloated rebundled jistsi
And? It’s not even included in the browser, it is but one button that links to the service. Mozilla also advertises their shit under about:protections, hypocrite.
> bloated bat injection ads
Fake news. Brave does not inject advertisements into websites. Brave’s opt-in ads are system notifications. Brave also doesn’t have to randomly connect to a shady proxy service to recommend (advertise) websites, unlike Deplatformingfox does in the address bar. It also doesn’t contain a key logger: https://www.howtogeek.com/760425/firefox-now-sends-your-address-bar-keystrokes-to-mozilla/
> as if stealing and hijacking typed urls wasn’t enough
LOL, referrals are standard industry practice, Deplatformingfox modifies any and all search URLs with their own referral for crying out loud. You know it, and I know it, that you are a massive hypocrite.
Also, thanks for giving me yet another opportunity to point out that Mozilla hijacked Deplatformingfox with actual spyware: https://www.zdnet.com/article/firefox-tests-cliqz-engine-which-slurps-user-browsing-data/ User data got compromised there, contrary to a referral, yet Mozilla gets a pass… except from me, lol.
> and whitelisting the biggest trackers on the internet
Fake news: https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2019/02/12/privacy-browser-braves-user-concern-over-facebook-whitelist/
Not even uBlock Origin blocks these scripts by default because it would break the websites in question. Care to hammer them as well for not breaking websites randomly? If not, why do it with Brave?
> and pinging scammy crypto sites every minute
Again, the ads are opt-in. Don’t like it, don’t use it. Some of the ads are crypto-related, some are not. I am also totally sure Brave users are totally anti-crypto, bro. Get a life.
> with dozens of zero day in the wild exploits
LOL, talking out of your ass as if your crap is more secure, except it isn’t: https://madaidans-insecurities.github.io/firefox-chromium.html
You should get a bit more creative with your hypocritical allegations, I can basically copy and paste my replies by now because it is always the same untrue shit coming from you.
> I can basically copy and paste my replies
LOL, this is exactly what you’ve been doing here for years.
It’s the only thing you’re able to – copy and paste outdated garbage.
> Get a life.
Funny advice from someone obsessed with smearing a web browser.
> LOL, this is exactly what you’ve been doing here for years.
> It’s the only thing you’re able to – copy and paste outdated garbage.
Dude, you have missed one important step: It’s always the same WRONG allegations that pop up here, and of course when you always choose to post the very same, lame, old, and factually incorrect shit, you can’t expect the replies to be anything particularly new or creative either.
Also, none of my links except for the Cliqz incident are outdated, and since the “Brave referral incident” is historical as well and no longer valid, I think it is only fair that I can bring up historical incidents as well.
> Funny advice from someone obsessed with smearing a web browser.
But still not as funny as someone complaining about crypto-related content in a crypto-related web browser.
> none of my links except for the Cliqz incident are outdated
“keystrokes” and “madaidan” are outdated too. You don’t even read the rubbish you distribute.
> post the very same, lame, old, and factually incorrect shit
An excellent description of many years of your activity here.
> “keystrokes” and “madaidan” are outdated too.
Nope. The key logger code is there, waiting to be turned on, and is being worked on still as we speak. It was not removed at all, and exists in addition to the shady proxy connection from where they fetch the top sites already (when they could also ship them locally), and where they will send your keystrokes to as well. This, however, will of course not stop you from advertising it as a privacy-first browser, I am sure of it. This is shadier than anything Brave Software has ever done by a long shot, but is of course getting a pass from hypocrites like you.
The madaidan article is also still factually correct. You think them implementing an immature site isolation feature (that doesn’t even isolate properly according to numerous Bugzilla bugs – that’s why I call it immature) is a fix all? Like, have you even read the rest? None of this shit is fixed and won’t get fixed in the short term because the Google rejects at Mozilla are years behind in terms of raw engineering. You can falsely advertise this crap as more secure here, deceptively exploiting the fact that nobody actually uses your shit and that it is thus many times less audited, but that doesn’t mean it is materially more secure… at all. The opposite is true.
> An excellent description of many years of your activity here.
Proof? Besides, your activity here so far consisted of trolling under my posts with already debunked claims, very impressive indeed…
> not stop you from advertising it
> You can falsely advertise this crap
> trolling under my posts with already debunked claims
Who you’re talking to? I don’t advertise anything or make any claims in this thread. You’re delusional, buddy. I think you get a little overexcited from the attention that I’ve given to your garbage links and false conclusions.
> nobody actually uses your shit
Why then worry like that, for years shitting 365 days a year on a software that nobody uses, studying Bugzilla bugs and debating with imaginary opponents in Edge threads.
LOOOL:D Sorry, I have absolutely no proof that you’re an old ignorant attention-seeking troll fixated on Firefox web browser, AKA Peacock365 on Github.
Coward browser ships with iron clad shit. There is no current web browser as potent as Flamefox to adjust it for best possible privacy settings. Only Vivaldi come very close.
> ships with stupid shit by default
It’s always funny to see this kind of criticism from a fanboy who has made a list of dozens of things to get rid of the stupid shit in his crypto Chrome skin.
> doesn’t provide any privacy
Such a broad generalization usually means a complete lack of understanding of the topic.
It’s true, Brave is more privacy oriented than firefox, many articles have been written on the subject. You won’t have much luck convincing people otherwise on this forum, maybe you should try reddit.
Who tried to convince you of something, honey? Where did you get the idea that you are worth to be convinced? You can use whatever Chrome skin you want, I don’t care. Enjoy your paid promo articles and bathe in crypto gold.
Just dunked the repetitive troll in his own waste products.
> You can use whatever Chrome skin you want, I don’t care.
*Chromium skin, if that were even true. But no, it is not just a skin. It adds features like FP protection, CNAME uncloaking, a native adblocker not under the limitations of extensions, ephemeral storage etc. “Skin” sounds like an icon change, this is not accurate at all. And you know it.
Oh but of course you are… darlin, that and insult people. Typical behavior for someone who’s arguments hold no water.
Edge is a privacy and advert disaster.
On Win/Linux Ungoogled Chromium, Tor, or LibreFox for serious privacy. On Android Bromite or Mull.
Avoid anything else.
Since I entered internet in 1998 I always avoided MS browsers.
First there was Netscape, then came Firefox, and although there came much choice since, I always come back to FF, no other browser does what FF can, I tried edge, Chrome, opera, brave even the Mac browser, but no, although Opera has some nice extra’s, and so it is still on my pc, FF remains my favorit.
Edge is s**t
In the beginning it was a fast agile browser, quite well de- googled and with a few useful new components.
The privacy of course was compromised since the beginning, but I could use it for my outlook account managing.
Nowadays I long back to IE6 minus the active x malware fest.
MS is as arrogant now, and way more deceitful, as they were in the time of the automagic pick your virus of choice with IE6.
So when your woman cheats on you, do you just take it like a dog and be her bitch letting her do it over and over again, or do you kick her out and get a good woman instead? Woolyss is her name. Get that Bing Edge whore out of your house.
No need to be vulgar.
@Chandler Bong Beautiful literary style and thought provoking analogies.
Forgive my lack of knowledge: with windows doesn’t Microsoft edge have to be used? I tried to cancel my account with microsoft and they stated so many things would disappear I backed off the attempt.
@Richard M.: I had an account with Microsoft for many years. As I found out more & more about its privacy invasions, experienced its arrogance and its disdain for home users in combination with its absolutely atrocious update/patch activities, I decided I had to get out.
I also got put off a few times by their warnings, but finally bit the bullet and got out. Heaven !!
With Google it was even worse because I was more enmeshed in their web. So, I hesitated even more, but then bit that bullet too. My happiness and relief were complete.
Make alternative arrangements beforehand, but do take that step. They need to be shown the middle finger and realize they are not the center of people’s cyber universe.
“Others liked the leaner version of Edge that offered better web compatibility and performance than the old version.”
Did you mean to write:
Others liked the leaner version of Edge that offered better *Alphabet/Google* compatibility and performance than the old version?
A lot of people seem to conflate Alphabet/Google-standards compatibility with Web-standards compatibility … including antitrust authorities.
I use Edge on Windows, and I like it, and I’ve tried all other browsers.
As for new features, I don’t use them, AND they are NOT “usually enabled by default” as Martin claimed here, hence I call BS on that. WTF Martin?
It’s hardly BS. After the 2021-12 cumulative update for 21H1, Edge now appears on startup and I can’t find where to disable it. Not in the Startup folder, not in the Startup tab in the task manager, not in msconfig, not in Settings, not in Edge’s settings. The entire browser is “enabled by default” on startup.
MS advisors propose a bunch of useless solutions here: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftedge/forum/all/disable-microsoft-edge-from-opening-on-starting/3caf5497-61e1-4d41-b4a5-3acd03f5c380
They didn’t even pull this kind of stunt when they were trying to take down Netscape.