Microsoft ‘Tests’ Pop Up Warning For Rival Browsers

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Not again! Microsoft mulls the idea of warning Windows 10 users when installing Firefox or Chrome browsers

Microsoft seems to be exploring desperate measures to get Windows 10 users to use its Edge browser instead of rival products.

Redmond has apparently tested pop-up warnings for when Windows 10 users attempt to install the Firefox or Chrome browsers.

If it were to roll this feature out globally, the software giant could potentially once again run the risk of falling foul of antitrust authorities, but the firm currently insists it only “testing” the idea and the pop up warning does not stop rival browsers from being installed.

Browser warning

Microsoft is reportedly testing the pop up warnings as part of its “Insiders” initiative, which allows Redmond to test changes to the OS and gather user feedback.

The pop-up warning apparently triggers when these users try to install the Chrome or Firefox web browsers. It reminds users that they already have Microsoft’s Edge browser installed.

But what is sure to alarm many is that the text in the pop-up claims that Edge is a “faster, safer” browser for the Windows 10 operating system.

Microsoft told the BBC the warning windows were being tested with a small number of users who were part of its “Insiders” initiative.

The warnings did not stop any software being installed, Microsoft reportedly said.

“Customers remain in control and can choose the browser of their choice,” Redmond is quoted as saying.

And it should be noted that the warning does provide a link to a user settings that allows them to turn off the alerts.

The BBC reported that it understands that the warnings will not be rolled out to the larger population of Windows 10 users in the October update for Windows 10.

Antitrust violations

This is not the first time that Microsoft has attempted to promote its own products over that of its rivals.

Microsoft of course has been convicted and fined in the past because of antitrust behaviour over its promotion of the Internet Explorer browser in the Windows operating system.

And then in 2017 Microsoft admitted that it had switched off third-party anti-virus software when Windows 10 was being updated, but it insisted it only did so on a temporary basis.

Microsoft made the admission after Kaspersky Labs filed an official complaint to both the European Commission (EC) and the German Federal Cartel Officer about the matter.

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