A hot potato: Microsoft is no stranger to the world of nagging ads, the worst example being the Windows 10 upgrade campaign. That was a few years ago, but the public outcry at the time hasn’t cooled the Redmond’s company’s love of intrusive adverts. This time, it’s Microsoft Edge that’s being rammed down users’ throats.
As reported by Windows Latest, Microsoft is A/B testing the ads in Windows 10 production builds. For those unfamiliar, A/B testing involves showing two versions of a marketing asset or a web page to a group and comparing the difference in performance.
The full-page ads appear via the out of box experience (OOBE) when users set up a new Windows 10 device. They’re also shown after every system update and when clicking on a new ad banner within the Settings.
Microsoft is trying to get more people onto its Chromium-powered Edge browser, and it seems to be working. Edge passed Firefox as the second-most-popular desktop/laptop browser earlier this year, though its 7.75 percent market share remains far behind Chrome’s 69.28 percent.
The ads reportedly appear when Chrome or Firefox is set as the default browser. The OOBE ads boast: “Get world class performance, privacy, and productivity as you browse with the latest Microsoft Edge—the best browser for Windows 10.”
Image courtesy of Windows Latest
The “Use Microsoft recommended browser settings” will make Edge the default browser and pin it to the desktop and taskbar. You can always click the option to keep your current settings, of course, and you can skip the process, but that will just bring the ad back in the future.
With the prompts being A/B tested there’s always the possibility Microsoft could listen to what will doubtlessly be negative feedback and make the ads less annoying.