May 24, 2024

Microsoft seems to be ramping up its efforts to push its Bing search engine, with The Verge (rightfully) likening the corporate’s techniques to malware.

The Verge’s Tom Warren describes Microsoft’s newest techniques, which contain randomly displaying a pop-up over different purposes, even to the purpose of interrupting a gaming session to show it:

I assumed I had malware on my primary Home windows 11 machine this weekend. There I used to be minding my very own enterprise in Chrome earlier than tabbing again to a recreation and wham a pop-up appeared asking me to change my default search engine to Microsoft Bing in Chrome. Stunningly, Microsoft now thinks it’s okay to shove a pop-up in my face above my apps and video games simply because I dare to make use of Chrome as an alternative of Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Pop-Up – Credit score Tom Warren and The Verge

As Warren factors out, the pop-up doesn’t originate within the notification middle, neither is it the usual pop-up that highlights new options. As a substitute, it’s a standalone executable in c:windowstempmubstemp, and is signed by Microsoft.

“We’re conscious of those reviews and have paused this notification whereas we examine and take applicable motion to deal with this unintended habits,” Caitlin Roulston, director of communications, advised The Verge.

This isn’t the primary time Microsoft has drawn the ire of customers in recent times over its aggressive efforts to push Edge and Bing. The corporate’s techniques have grow to be decidedly paying homage to the techniques that led to the US authorities’s groundbreaking antitrust case in opposition to the corporate.

As Warren factors out, Microsoft has little doubt coated itself legally with the plethora of extremely lengthy license agreements it presents to customers. Nonetheless, such techniques are underhanded at greatest and unethical at worst.

Over the past decade, Microsoft Home windows’ market share has steadily dropped from 91.5% in August 2012 to 69.5% in July 2023. If Home windows’ market share continues to say no, Microsoft may have solely itself — and its malware-style advertising and marketing techniques — in charge.