Microsoft shows another Bing popup advertisement to Windows users

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 18, 2024
Google Chrome, Windows 10, Windows 11 News

Microsoft has done it again. This time, the company displayed a popup advertising its Bing search service to Chrome users on Windows devices.

The popup appeared for users who launched Chrome on the Windows device. It read "Chat with GPT-4 for free on Chrome! Get hundreds of daily chat turns with Bing AI".

To do that, users just had to click on the yes button. It would make Bing the default search engine in Google Chrome and install the Bing Service for improving the chat experience.

Microsoft Bing popup Windows

A click on the yes button makes Bing the default search engine in Google Chrome on the device. It will also install the Bing Chrome extension.

Google notifies users about the attempt to change settings and displays an option to undo the change.

In a statement to various news outlets, Microsoft said: "this is a one-time notification giving people the choice to set Bing as their default search engine on Chrome". Microsoft furthermore stated" we value providing our customers with choice, so there is an option to dismiss the notification".

While Microsoft spins it to look like it is doing its customers a favor, the response has been mostly negative on the Internet. Reactions range from abusing its control of the Windows operating system to malware-like behavior.

Microsoft clearly uses these popups and others to push its services. Since it has done so several times in the recent past, it seems to work out well for the company, even taking the backlash into account that happens each time.

This is not the first time that Microsoft is using Windows to advertise its service. Back in 2017, Microsoft advertised one of its Chrome extensions as a popup over Chrome's taskbar icon.

The last popup ad that Microsoft showed on Windows desktops targeted Chrome users as well.

Back in August 2023, Microsoft showed a very similar looking popup ad to users of Chrome. This one also asked users to switch the default search engine to Microsoft Bing in Chrome, promising access to Microsoft Rewards and AI. The Bing extension was also listed and would be installed when users activated the yes button.

There was also the recent issue that Edge imported data from Chrome automatically. Microsoft said that this was caused by a bug. The browser offers an option to import Chrome browser data on launch, but this needs to be enabled by the user manually first.

This is not about choice

Displaying popup ads to users to switch to Bing or another product is patronizing. Users have their own setup and services that they use. Yes, this is likely Google Search in Google Chrome.

The popups give users minimal choice. Say yes and Bing Search is made the default in Chrome and you get the Bing extension on top of that. Decline, and there is a good chance that Microsoft will display another popup in the future.

It is almost as if Microsoft is trying to wear users down until they give in and make Bing the default just to get rid of the popups. It is a clear abuse of power on Microsoft's part, especially because there is no "never again" option.

Windows offers no clear controls to turn of advertising and advertising popups. You can check out my guide on turning of advertising popups in Windows 11 here to take care of major offenders.

Closing Words

Microsoft is not the only company that is using its dominance to push its own products. Google has used the power of its websites to push its Chrome web browser as well.

This does not make Microsoft's behavior any better, but underlines that this is widespread behavior.

Now You: what is your take on this?

Microsoft shows another Bing popup advertisement to Windows users
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Microsoft shows another Bing popup advertisement to Windows users
Last week, Microsoft showed popup ads to Windows users advertising its Bing Search engine to users of the Google Chrome web browser.
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  1. vjes said on March 20, 2024 at 11:36 am

    really amazing.

  2. Sebas said on March 19, 2024 at 7:13 am

    If you use Google Chrome, or any browser, the Brave search engine is quite good in my experience. (I do not use Google Chrome). Duckduckgo is shady:

    “a security researcher revealed this week that even DuckDuckGo, which markets itself as “the internet privacy company,” made an exception for its business partner Microsoft to its browser’s blocking of some advertising trackers on websites, sparking accusations of betraying its purported privacy ethos.”

  3. Sebas said on March 19, 2024 at 6:42 am

    When W10 was offered on W7 and you clicked on the red X to close the notification window, W10 was installed. That was the most criminal act MS has ever done.

    You had to install GWX Control Panel, a piece of software to disable the ‘Get Windows 10’ notification area icon on Windows 7 and Windows 8. And also to disable ‘Upgrade to Windows 10’ behavior in the Windows Update control panel.

  4. GatesFoundation said on March 18, 2024 at 10:37 pm

    Microsoft set a new low by endorsing internal malware. All staff members should be ashamed what they had done to Windows. The team at Microsoft who consistently comes up with these ideas deserves to be fired, publicly humiliated, and prohibited from working for any other software companies. This is an utterly disgusting crime that should result in heavy sanctions from the EU and other countries.

  5. JESUS_IS_LORD said on March 18, 2024 at 6:59 pm

    AI is for losers anyways.

  6. John G. said on March 18, 2024 at 5:13 pm

    Microsoft Shitdows, anything else is lower than expected for the current academic morality.

  7. John said on March 18, 2024 at 4:48 pm

    Microsoft’s marketing has always been bad and poorly orchestrated. It’s worse today because it’s far more aggressive and I think it creates more negative opinions about Microsoft. Any one today can easily change a search engine, or use a different browser especially one built into the OS. Tricking or nagging users into a browser or search engine seems like that’s not going to make users more inclined to use it.

  8. Brad said on March 18, 2024 at 4:48 pm

    They’re not even heavily pushing Bing because it’s good, they’re pushing it because it’s junk nobody wants and so they have to resort to desperate measures. Bing is just an inferior copy of Google – without any advantages.

    I wish this wasn’t the case because due to Google’s privacy abuse I use DuckDuckGo – which is based on Bing. However, whenever DuckDuckGo doesn’t return adequate results for specific search queries (which is unfortunately quite often), or the results have other issues, I check Bing to see whether the problem lies with DuckDuckGo or Bing, and the problem is always at the Bing level.

    When trying the exact same search queries on Google, the results Google returns are as expected and Google also finds results from websites that are completely missing from Bing results. Google for example can return a result from a specific Github page that contains the exact term that was searched for, while Bing will often either find no results and display a Copilot chat prompt, or worse, return results that don’t even match the original query – thus wasting my time.

    Bing is just not a good search engine – typical Microsoft half-assed mediocrity. And don’t even get me started on Bing hijacking links and replacing them with their own MSN[.]com links rather than just linking directly to a news site.

    It’s unfortunate that DuckDuckGo don’t use Google search results instead – like StartPage used to do until last year before they degenerated it with Bing crap too.

    If Microsoft are just going to be a clone of Google, but without the competence of Google, then they may as well just disappear from the consumer space.

  9. Tachy said on March 18, 2024 at 2:20 pm
    1. My_Name said on March 29, 2024 at 11:40 pm

      Well, it seemed that was going to happen. CD is 40 yrs old, so the disc tech was going to be “cracked”.
      I hope the next version of bluray to be released in late 2020s and hold many TB in space.

    2. John G. said on March 18, 2024 at 8:44 pm


  10. Lizard said on March 18, 2024 at 11:39 am

    I just went Linux on desktop because I can not put up with MS none sense spyware.

    1. Nonya said on March 18, 2024 at 6:04 pm

      You are not the only one by a long shot Lizard.

      Sitting on a Debian / XFCE machine with Wireshark running on a second monitor and it is amazing how little traffic there is. NTP and basic SSDP were only packets leaving the machine and those were limited to the user space due with basic network segmentation even with devtools ( NeoVim, dbeaver, Neo4j, Postgres, etc ) and a few docker containers running.

      Doing this on Windows 10 / 11 and seeing how much Microsoft was attempting to exfiltrate from the machines were a prime reason we aren’t running Win 10/11.

      If anyone doubts these results, give it a test yourself. Start capture, filter to source IP and see how much data Microsoft is trying to capture.

  11. Tachy said on March 18, 2024 at 7:38 am

    I’ve never seen anything like it on my screen.

    I would advise people learn how the technology they take for granted actually works.

    Also, anyone who uses chrome as thier default browser should be used to having no control of it already.

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