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Microsoft Edge's latest feature called a 'shameless cash grab' by critics

Edge Dev Hero 2020 Newfeature
Edge Dev Hero 2020 Newfeature (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft recently started testing a buy now, pay later integration in Edge powered by Zip.
  • The option has drawn criticism from users of the browser.
  • The feature allows people to split purchases made online between four installments over a six-week period.

Microsoft Edge recently gained a feature that allows people to pay for online purchases in installments. It's known as buy now, pay later (BNPL), and it's currently in testing on Microsoft Edge Dev and Canary. The option drew criticism from fans and users of the browser that expressed frustration in the comments section of the post announcing the feature (opens in new tab).

The center of most complaints is the belief that Microsoft Edge is becoming bloated with shopping features rather than delivering a pure browsing experience. BNPL is optional, but its detractors are against the concept of Edge having shopping features built in.

"It's impressive how quickly you can throw away years of hard work and good will with a ridiculous feature like this," said vyrotek. "The Edge teams need to pause and think how they possibly thought this was a good idea. Even the Bing features are getting too aggressive."

Cameron_Bush states asks for Microsoft to reconsider the addition. "This sounds like an awful idea that will only be seen as a shameless cashgrab are/or bloat by media outlets. I beg you reconsider pushing this to live. The negative press this feature is going to receive isn't worth it."

GNS722 echoed similar sentiments. "As many have mentioned above please don't keep on adding such bloat. Edge has become a really good alternative to others but if you are going to follow this path it won't be anymore."

A comment by examinedliving contrasts the open nature of some parts of Microsoft with the addition of BNPL to Edge. "It seems like Microsoft had been divided into competing biblical entities. One is pure and creates things like VS Code and Powertoys. The other is the demonic beast who comes up with this ridiculous, insulting garbage."

There are several pages worth of comments, most of which are negative. Edge has several features that help people save money. Critics seem to believe that features like these should be left to extensions and dedicated websites rather than being built into a browser.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

39 Comments
  • This, plus Microsoft's insistence on making it difficult to switch from Edge for those who wish to do so, are just stupid moves, and Microsoft is really shooting themselves in the foot here because it's not like Edge is a horrible browser. Far from it. It is so awesome, I even use it on my Android device. It has the performance of Chrome but without the bloat (and tracking). This split-payment thing is also not very classy. Unlike the Edge Shopping feature that allows you to save money with coupons, this is straight-up product peddling.
  • It'd hard to go to setting and select the browser you want to use? Or simply download, chrome, firefox, or whatever browser you...humm 🤔
  • They're probably complaining about the existence of edge specific callers that are used by things like the OS search or the widgets panel that launch edge instead of the default browser. Personally I think there are valid engineering and design reasons for that (though I would rather they open a webview like lightweight instance instead of a full browser tab), but lots of people disagree.
  • Yeah, the problem with the direction they leading Edge to is becoming too bloated with this services that is best leave to extensions and other 3rd-party sites. Not everybody will able to use this feature anyway due to regional restrictions and for other reasons, so it will become a bloat. This is not like features like Collections, Web Annotations, and other features that helps browsing experience better for any type of user. I rather have existing features be polished and become more integrated to Windows. Leave these kind of features to extensions.
  • @Culex318 "This split-payment thing is also not very classy" Perfect way of describing this so called feature. MS seem determined in turning the once fast and agile Chromium Edge into a fat bloated pig of a browser. What's worse is what you stated. This low rent built in abomination just devalues whatever reputation Edge had and lacks class...which I guess matches with the lack of class Satya has displayed with the user hostile Edge and Bing forced usage with default W11 settings. Oh well, at least we know now where Satya is taking Windows.
  • get a chromebook if u need your google fix. Youre on WIndows. Make your life easier by leaving windows and getting a cHromebook. Do u want us to start you a GoFundMe to be able to afford a cheap chromebook?
  • @onysi Who are you replying to?
  • Why Microsoft is so hard at work to mutilate this browser is beyond me. It is such a nice browser, but simply doesn't need all this junk. Make extensions and promote those. But for those who want the best browsing experience, performance should be the number one target for MS.
  • Since this can be disabled entirely, I'm not sure how it has any performance impacts. It might increase the install size very slightly.
  • I agree that Edge shouldn't become the bloated mess that Chrome is. But adding features that are useful and do not detract from the performance of the browser should be expected. If Microsoft makes changes, people whine. If Microsoft doesn't make changes, people whine. Maybe we need less articles about people whining.
  • Complaining about Microsoft is the true national sport.
  • It's not about adding features per se, it's about the type. This is just a sleazy cash grab that encourages people to make debt via a third-party service, why would you want that to be part of Windows' default browser? Did Microsoft really need the pennies (relatively speaking) they are getting for this? It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
  • Oh lord. A sleazy cash grab? Do you say the same about Amazon, NewEgg, PayPal etc. who all offer such service? Maybe some people appreciate the help making larger purchases without the drama of a credit check or such. It doesn't encourage people to do anything they weren't inclined to do in the first place. Zip charges $1 per installment ... seems like quite a reasonable fee for the service that's being offered.
  • The sleazy cash grab is not Zip per se, it's Microsoft integrating it into the default browser of Windows and "forcing" it in front of people's faces. I've always been okay with their Bing integrations into Windows and Edge, but why should this be a built-in feature of the default browser? Imagine Google doing something like this with Chrome, or Apple with Safari. What would that make you think about their browsers? People accuse Chrome of being bloat despite it not having anything like this.
  • Actually I find Chrome isn't that much bloated, at least when it comes to features it is actually still relatively lean. But Edge got added features which are quite useful. Thing is with this one, they are now adding too much 3rd-party services to their own browser, and that services may not be available to other regions anyways for due to many reasons. Thus bloat. Pinterest integration to Collection for me is fine, since it is pretty much accessible to most regions I know and a well known service. They don't have to though.
  • I'm sure MS has metrics on just what percentage of users actually install extensions and I'm willing to bet it's very small. Just make it an extension likely prevents wide spread use by people who would otherwise use the features.
  • Haters rejoice. They will always find something to complain about in Microsoft products... Or any other company's, really.
  • Don't have to find something to hate when Microsoft shoves it in your face like this.
  • "BNPL is optional" ^ underrated point ^ I don't like visual clutter but if there is little or none (with the flip of a switch) then there's no problem at all.
  • If they were to make it a separate extension you had to manually install, fine. If it's an integrated feature, screw them. If it's something that's opt-out and/or something that has pop-up notifications to enable, screw them.
  • Everything m$ has done since the "LongHorn" debacle has been awful. But if you feel that this new Edge "feature" is appalling (it is!)...don't use Edge! And if you can, ditch windoze completely. If you have to use windoze (and w10 is awful and the TPM requirement for w11 is horrible), then use alternate browsers like Opera, Vivaldi or Brave...or even FireFox, but just moaning without taking action is not going to achieve anything. Personally, I switched to Linux for desktop use in 2001 (mostly KDE), and while it was a bit of effort back then, these days it's easy, and the app disparity has all but vanished. All serious innovation these days is done on Linux anyway, so using it on the desktop makes my work life easier...and way more secure.
  • Bless your heart. It must suck to not even use Windows/Microsoft products but have them live so prominently in your head.
  • The edge browser is great, I use it everywhere. I even use Microsoft ads for my business. This bnpl is an option so no problem here. People winging about edge are just haters and should just go to twitter.
  • Chrome has been great for well over a decade now. Microsoft skinning it didn't change that.
  • Can you be surprised? This isn't an isolated act of some bad decision by one bad executive. This is the way Microsoft operates across most of its consumer-facing products now. Look at some of the recent examples: Edge: Shopping features left and right. They're pretty bad too. I go to Autotrader, looking at a $90K 2021 Jeep Trackhawk. It starts recommending I consider a used 2011 base Cherokee for $14K. It was completely useless and irrelevant to wat I was doing, just popping up and getting in the way. Now, they're trying to shove bad idea financing in people's faces to make a few bucks, as if the world's most valuable company needs it. Xbox: Halo Infinite's monetization is some of the worst in gaming, and definitely the worst thing I've seen from an Xbox title. Basically the whole community is mad about it, and 343 had the audacity to release this trash during a supposed beta, while they go on vacation and ask for patience while their team is "on a deserved break for the holidays." It's predatory, overpriced, and generally awful. Surface: They dropped the entry-level Surface Pro model while raising the price of the second-lowest model by $200. Where the SP7 came in at $750, $950 for the lowest model still sold, the thing now starts at $1,100. The keyboards that used to start at $130 now start at $180. They raised the Surface Duo from $1,400 to $1,500 when it really has just managed to catch up (at best) on things it lacked from every other OEM on the market. The Slim Pen 2 comes with no way to charge it, so you have to spend A MINIMUM of $35 extra if you want to use your pen more than once. Horrendously stupid greed is the go-to for Microsoft these days. It's part of all of their product releases. It's disappointing, and I'm considering switching from Edge because of how crappy these forced-in shopping tools have been.
  • Screw the haters, haters going to hate.
  • I think what's going on here is a conflation of the well deserved criticism of these BNPL schemes in general and criticism of MS (some of which is warranted and some of it less so).
  • Watch Google come out with anything remotely similar and everyone falling deeper in love with them as a result... 🙄
  • I already use this service from the app on my phone. So I'm not sure what the problem is. Even when I have the cash it's nice to just pay it in 4. Obviously don't get yourself into debt, but most checkouts have some pay in 4 feature these days.
  • Eh, this makes no difference to me. BNPL services are incredibly useful to people that use them. And it's completely optional, just remove it if you don't like it. Hell even banks here now are realizing that people are moving away from credit cards and instead onto BNPL services so they are offering their own alternatives.
  • Cry Babies. The feature is optional, don't take or add it. problem solved.
  • Wow, some folks are angry about something they are not required to use being available in the browser and others are even angrier and post multiple times about their various grievances. It is the holiday season, and this is absolutely not a thing to be angry about, so I'll just wish everyone a Happy Holidays and less stress for 2022.
  • I can see both sides. BNPL installments are great for money management. If a person is crappy with their finances that's on them. For instance you need to buy a super duper expensive orthopaedic mattress. But it costs you several hundred bucks and you have bills due. With BNPL you can spread it over a few months. Most offerings are interest free until you miss a payment and/or cleared during the set period. So, you either suffer with chronic backpain resulting in poor sleep and reduced productivity thus likely to lose your job thus ending up in more debt. Or you be smart about your health, spread the mattress cost. Personally, I'd like to have this as extension. However, this feature would actually useful when you need to buy next year's GPUs pretty quickly or jump into black friday deals etc. But, it's only useful in the regions it is available. So I can see both sides.
  • when u have people ********, u know edge is gaining some wide support. good for MS. dont bow down to these nubs.
  • @onysi ''u know edge is gaining some wide support" Is it though? StatCounter has Edge desktop at just 9% market share. It was 8% several months ago and its growth has been flat ever since.
  • I don't like what MS is doing, but then I think half of what Apple does are shameless cash grabs like proprietary ports that vendors then have to license to connect to a iOS device or fighting tooth and nail to keep side loading from their walled garden.
  • So basically like many things today, the user blames someone else instead of not holding themselves accountable for their actions. It's optional. Don't use it if you don't like it. Stop blaming MS.
  • i am a regular average browser person and such i stick with edge as it is enough for me. even internet explorer was enough for me! 😅. and then i see people suggesting brave and Vivaldi and Firefox and how customizable they are and how safe they are. not debating the safe part, it's probably true. but. when i tried them, i went crazy!!! the UI alone was so busy. Vivaldi with its soooo many options was another headache for an average joe like me. the tabs
    and now i am reading these comments about edge becoming bloatware and am wondering if i missed something. As for this "new" feature- how is this even new? i can see how it is new for the browser but it's not a new concept on its own. Why are people calling this a "cheap" thing to do?? it's quite common here in India and is available on every bank payment option on amazon. it's called EMI though. BNPL seems like a fancy different name. but it's quite common and in fact, if there's no EMI option for payment, we most propbably dont buy it.
  • Literally just an option. Who cares.