Chances are you may have logged into your updated laptop or PC come face to face with an intrusive, windowless advert for Microsoft Edge whilst using Windows 10 in the last few weeks. You’re not alone, and apparently, this unwelcome ‘feature’ may be around to stay.
This is the latest A/B test (a trial for showing two variants of the same web page to different segments of website visitors to see what performs best) introduced in the recent batch of updates for the operating system.
We’re no strangers to ads, especially when we understand that’s how websites (like our own) keep running. That isn’t to say that we don’t find them to be a nuisance when we’re enjoying content on sites like Facebook or Reddit, but they don’t commandeer the screen and demand 100% of your attention.
The intrusive ‘nag’ from Microsoft will appear when you set up your new PC or laptop, click on an advertising banner within the settings, or – our personal favorite – after every system update.
The purpose of the screen-hogging prompt is of course to persuade you to try out the new Chromium-based Edge over non-Microsoft owned products, with the ads appearing when people use Google Chrome and Firefox as default browsers. The ads themselves appear via the OOBE (out of box experience, essentially what you use to set up your device), and are easily closed by selecting “don’t update your browser settings”, but there isn’t currently a way to disable them from appearing
It’ll be interesting to see if this attention-demanding approach actually works because if the results from the A/B test are favorable, we will likely be subjected to more of this in the future. All of this isn’t to say that the new Edge isn’t a great browser, and we certainly think it has its merits. That said, in the spirit of petulant children everywhere who are being told what to do: “well now I’m not doing it”.