In a parallel universe where a computing editor was somehow Superman, Microsoft Edge would categorically be my Kryptonite. I can’t fully articulate why I have such an easy to summon disdain for Microsoft’s web browser at this point. All I can tell you is I never use it if there’s an alternative.
Come to think of it, I can tell you exactly why Edge isn’t for me. It’s in large part because every time I review one of the best gaming laptops — the vast majority of which use Windows 11 these days — Microsoft is absolutely insistent that I use its homegrown browser rather than my preferred option, Google Chrome.
The Big M shaming you at every opportunity if you have the audacity to try and download one of its web-browsing rivals is nothing new, of course. I’ve just been sent an Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED, which is a lovely-looking little laptop and within the first 30 minutes of setting it up, Microsoft was all over my back when I began the Chrome download process.
As The Verge recently points out, there’s now an extra hoop of shame you may be forced to leap through if you want to download a Chrome or a Firefox instead of sticking with Edge as your default browser. The site reports certain users are now seeing a poll popping up asking them why they don’t want to stick with Edge.
If you attempt to download Google Chrome through Microsoft Edge now, the latter browser’s Action Center may throw up an on-screen poll giving you a borderline grilling about why you’re about to abandon it.
Said poll starts with a “We love having you!” message, followed by a probing “Can you please take a minute to tell us why you are trying another browser?” The following options then cover options such as “I can’t search Google easily”, “I can’t access my Google documents” and simply “it’s too slow”.
This poll didn’t actually pop up for me when I recently downloaded Chrome onto this new Zenbook, but it certainly seems to be appearing for other Windows users who simply don’t want to use Microsoft Edge.
When it comes to the best web browsers, it’s not like Chrome doesn’t have its faults. That said, I appreciate Chrome got some big upgrades recently (most of which are beneficial) and I’m all about that new download tray. Mainly though, I use Chrome through sheer force of habit. It’s been my go-to browser for a decade or so, and that’s simply not going to change at this point.
Microsoft, you can shame me with as many ad windows stating ‘Microsoft Edge runs on the same technology as Chrome, with the added trust of Microsoft’ until some sort of dairy-producing creature comes home. I’m not going to start using Edge anytime soon, and your new overly thirsty polls aren’t changing that fact.