Microsoft’s new Windows prompts try to stop people from downloading Chrome

Microsoft has never been a fan of Windows users downloading Chrome instead of using Edge, but the company has now stepped up its campaign to make sure people keep using the built-in browser. Windows 10 and Windows 11 have both started showing new prompts when people go to the Chrome download page, in an effort to discourage people from installing Google’s rival browser.

These new clues, spotted by neowin, including messages such as:

  • “Microsoft Edge runs on the same technology as Chrome, with the added confidence of Microsoft.”
  • “That browser is so 2008! Do you know what’s new? Microsoft Edge.”
  • “I hate saving money,” no one ever said. Microsoft Edge is the best browser for online shopping.”

We’ve been able to confirm at least one prompt on a Windows 11 PC, and it seems these new prompts are appearing for some Windows 10 users as well. These are also not popups or prompts that you normally find on a website. They are displayed natively by Edge and other websites cannot display similar prompts.

That makes this one a little different from the messages Google displays when you use Edge and its online services, which appear on web pages when you visit services like Google Search and Gmail. Google uses these to try and encourage users to switch to Chrome via Edge.

Microsoft’s new prompts come more than three years after the company first began testing ways to warn Windows 10 users not to install Chrome or Firefox. Those tests were never rolled out publicly, but these prompts are now starting to appear for Windows users.

Microsoft has also made it harder to switch default browsers in Windows 11 and force people to use Edge through Windows updates. These latest clues also follow widespread criticism of Microsoft building a “buy now, pay later” tool directly into Edge that incentivizes users to use a short-term financing service.