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Microsoft calls Chrome 'so 2008' as part of the ongoing browser war

Microsoft Edge Update Dev New
Microsoft Edge Update Dev New (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Edge now shows a new set of prompts when users attempt to download Google Chrome.
  • The prompts try to dissuade people from switching browsers by saying things like, "That browser is so 2008! Do you know what's new? Microsoft Edge."
  • These messages have been spotted on Edge on Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Microsoft Edge has a new set of prompts built to convince people to not download Google Chrome. These messages have been spotted in the browser on both Windows 11 and Windows 10 (via Neowin). This isn't the first tactic that Microsoft has used to attempt to keep people on Edge, though these messages are a bit different.

There are three prompts that can appear when attempting to download Chrome:

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

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The final message may prove controversial, as Microsoft recently started testing out buy now, pay later functionality in Edge.

The prompts are rendered natively in Edge, making them different from messages you'd see from other websites. We've spotted the messages on Windows 11, but they don't seem to appear on all Windows 10 systems. There are reports of the prompts showing up on Windows 10, however.

Google uses a similar strategy when people navigate to its services within Edge. Opening Gmail, Google Search, and other Google services within Edge will show a prompt to try Google Chrome.

It's likely that both Google and Microsoft will continue to attempt to convert people to Chrome and Edge, respectively.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

22 Comments
  • Edge is very good, but all this is bad
  • I think ... it's NBD and only some tech geeks and tech journos will care. Part of the new outrage culture we live in where everything is so dramatic ... for people who are online.
  • That's kind of sad but not untrue. Still though not really fan of these marketing strategy. There are places for jokes, memes, banter, etc. But I kinda hate this on UI, which looks unprofessional. On work environment, this pop ups can be pretty annoying to users as well, though IT isn't really oblige to do support on something like this anyway.
  • Well forcing people to only use one type of browser on Windows is so 1998...
  • No one is being forced to use a web browser. Granted, some parts of Windows 11 are web-based and rely on Edge, but that's not your web browser.
  • You know that nobody is forcing anybody to use a particular browser? Emphasis on FORCING. Each Browser would try to convince you you should choose them.
  • Edge does have some features that Chrome doesn't have.
    Some people prefer to use Chrome
    Forcing you to use Microsoft's browser is so 1998.
  • Forcing? Who is forcing you?
  • Microsoft is. There's a lot of avenues that open Edge instead of whatever your default browser is (like clicking the Widget panel. This doesn't affect me because I like Edge and use it as my daily driver, but this kind of thing drives me crazy on iOS and Android when they force a link to open in Safari or Chrome rather than in my default browser (Edge) so I can understand why it's annoying.
  • Conflating Widget Panel, which, let's be honest 1. No one likes 2. No one uses, with your personal web browser is being disingenuous.
  • No one likes? Are you sure there isn't anyone who may be remotely interested in clicking on an article or two? That seems disingenuous. The headlines in the widgets panel are mostly click baity but there are some interesting reads from time to time. If Microsoft is pushing me to click on them, by making it part of the Win11 experience, then they should at least open the link in the browser of my choice. They don't need to follow in the footsteps of Android and iOS.
  • I like edge, I recommend edge, but MS, seriously, STOP. I'm going to recommend something else if they continue this trend. Just make a good clean browser.
  • Can't wait for all this to take place in the metaverse with avatars. I'm currently picturing it will go down like a dance off.... Only slightly stoopider
  • MS is trying wayyyyy too hard with Edge and turning it into a steaming pile of garbage. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/12/edge-is-a-good-browser-but-micro...
  • So, when it says chose Browser that put you first annoy the crap out of you? Jeez. and to you, that is a pile of garbage? Oh Well...
  • That's ridiculous! MS are doing nothing wrong.
  • Slow news day? This is blown out of proportion. And at best, something that any other company would get a pass for if it was aimed at MS.
    MS never gets the slack other companies get, that's a fact. And besides all that, it's true. Chrome is the past, Chrome is the establishment.
  • Just most windows users also use android. Unfortunately Chrome on android is still light years in front of edge.
  • This doesn't sound anti-competitive at all. (/s)
  • You are right, it doesn't.
  • I've used Firefox for about three years now after quitting Chrome. Edge has been my secondary browser. However setting up my wife's new laptop (she only uses Chrome btw) has caused me to use Edge way more. And I'm impressed enough to give Edge a go on my laptop and phone.
  • I’ve been using Edge now for 2 months. It’s barely any different from chrome. I do like their settings menu better. But like chrome, not all settings you set in settings are transferred or saved between devices. Specifically the Send URL’s of all the pages you visit setting. The one reason I’m going back to Chrome for good: Edge logging us into Windows too when we log into Edge. Uh, no, you can’t bundle the two. eff off microsoft. The one thing that really stands out…Edges aggressive built in tab suspender is more annoying than helpful. May benefit battery life, but it comes at the expense of just sitting down and continuing where you left off while you wait for sites to refresh.