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Microsoft will prompt users to try Edge before installing Chrome or Firefox on Windows 10 version 1809

Microsoft appears to be stepping up its game when it comes to trying to push users to try out Microsoft Edge with the upcoming Windows 10 update launching in October. In this release, Microsoft has quietly added a new feature to the OS called "app suggestions," which is on by default, and will popup a window when the user tries to install a third-party browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox prompting them to try Edge first.

The popup appears to be powered by the Microsoft Store, and shows up whenever you try to launch an installer for a third-party browser not made by Microsoft. Now, these "app suggestions" can be turned in the Settings app if you don't want Microsoft promoting Edge as you try to install another browser, and the popup itself doesn't stop you from installing other browsers, it just reminds you that Edge exists and is worth a try. It's likely that these app suggestions are in play for other types of apps too, but we've not been able to find anymore as of yet.

Still, Microsoft building a dedicated popup into the OS for users trying to install other browsers is rather telling. Microsoft is trying to get Edge in front of many people as it can, but I'm not sure forcing popups in front of them as they try to install something else is going to help with getting people on Edge's side. If someone is downloading Chrome or Firefox, they've already made their choice as to what browser they want to use. Reminding them about Edge at the last second isn't going to help, and it likely just going to annoy the user further.

The app suggestions feature is part of the "Apps & Features" setting in the Settings app, where you can control whether or not you can install apps from outside the Microsoft Store. In Windows 10 version 1803 and previous, the default option for this setting was "install apps from anywhere," but now it's been changed to ""show me app recommendations," which is what is prompting the warning when installing Chrome and Firefox. As mentioned above, you can still turn it off though.

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for the tip, Venkat

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

195 Comments
  • "If someone is downloading Chrome or Firefox, they've already made their choice as to what browser they want to use." That is exactly the problem. This backfires because it's the sophisticated users that go through the trouble of downloading alternate browsers. These users see this popup and just get annoyed and reminded of the old monopolistic Microsoft. And yes, it can be "turned off" - but again, only sophisticated users would have any idea how to do that. Microsoft is targeting the wrong audience with this "feature".
  • Yea I agree with this it's a bold move but it's a double edge sword. yes most people just open up the default browser and go grab their preferred browser so it makes sense to have this pop-up to show people there is something else they should try but at the same time I think you're right if they have already downloaded it it might be too late. they should have something before they download the browser installer like when they navigate to the site or something.
  • Is this not the same as going to Google's website and it says try chrome?
  • No its not the same, the Google popup is on their website the Microsoft crap is built into an OS you paid for and are now being spammed.
  • I have gotten their promotion to use chrome in other websites besides their own. And when you use their android OS they always advise to use chrome over anything even their own regular google search engine. So pretty much the same as Microsoft using the same tactics on their own OS to promote theirs. But nobody is forced!!
  • i have never been advised to use chrome over any other browser on my phone, once the browser is set to default that is it, I also have never had any notifications when installing, saying try chrome it is better.
    I have no problem with Ms recommending Edge on their websites, not that I got an Ms site that often, but not in the OS.
  • I've seen it on some android handsets and not on others.
  • Never seen it, even on my old Nexus 4 witch was pure Android or my Nexus 7 Tablet. Anyway, by the seems of it MS have pulled the nag, so well done Ms for listening, even if their excuse was that it was only for insiders. i do not believe that for one minute to be honest, if there was not a stink up, it would have been in the final version.
  • Nexus 4? Nexus 7? Those are 6 year old devices that haven't been updated in over 3 years, and the last 2 updates where Lollipop security updates, not updates to later versions of Android. I never got a virus on my 286 Windows 3.1 machine. Is that proof they don't exist on Windows?
  • Like 100's of millions of others, I didn't pay for Windows 10, I upgraded from 7 and 8
    ;-)
    It's claim is accurate at the moment, although the gap is closing. Try Edge again mate, I did recently and thought it was pretty good.
  • Not everyone paid for a license though, did they!!!
  • if you're on a chromebook does it even allow you to install edge? that's anti-consumer..
  • But when you buy a chrome book, you know what you are buying. Chrome Os is a browser more or less. What about windows 10s then?
  • What about it?
    Windows 10S doesn't allow you to install another browser unless it's in the Store and neither does Chrome OS so I fail to see what the problem is!!!
  • Yes, when you buy a windows 10 device with Smode, you know what you are buying, a fully functional OS with edge (which is awesome btw), as your browser. Plus ALOT of apps and software that does not work on Chrome. Turn off S mode, and you have the best software in desktop / laptop computing available to you. I fail to see your point Dush Ku...
  • 1. This has been present in Windows 10 for ages. It's not new.
    2. It's Microsoft's OS, they have every right to encourage you to use its features before downloading an alternative, just as Google and Mozilla have every right to push their software when you visit their sites--and they do.
    3. Unlike Google, Microsoft's OS ALLOWS you to use any browser you want. Does chrome os let you choose an alternative? Nope. This is a non issue. Move it along, people, there are actually important things happening in the world. This isn't one of them.
  • It is interesting how much blow back this has caused. Personally I think it is nice that it is a one-off reminder as opposed to the invasiveness of all Google reminders and "malwarish" tricks like bundling chrome with software installs.
  • "Sophisticated users" are more than half the browser market by that logic. That doesn't compute. Many, many users are downloading Chrome out of habit. This may get them to think twice. Power users won't care so much about nagware that they can turn off easily.
  • Well put. All this will do is push Chrome/Firefox users deeper into their trench.
  • No, many people don't even know how Chrome got on their computer and why it is their default browser they just click yes. If they're at a youtube website or if they're downloading abobe reader it is checked to install by default so it is good that they are getting the popup even though I think many people still will not read the warning lol.
  • Yes, Google has popups on all their sites and on sites that aren't even theirs that tell you should download chrome, and if you have chrome are using something else, you get pop ups saying to make it you default browser. Why do people not attack google but only attack Microsoft? I actually had chrome end up on my computer and I didn't know it tell I opened a link and it open in chrome because it was set to my default browser.
  • "And yes, it can be "turned off" - but again, only sophisticated users would have any idea how to do that."
    You did notice that the screen that suggests trying Edge has a link to the settings to do exactly that. If the user isn't sophisticated enough to click a clear link on the screen, he/she likely wouldn't have figured out how to get to this notice screen.
  • Edge is really safer and faster?
  • Let's be honest, I use both but Edge more all right but Chrome is just better. 60% user base to 4% user base for edge..c'mon.
  • User base doesn't immediately mean Chrome is better. Yes, Chrome is a fantastic well rounded browser. But Edge has to deal with the mistakes of Internet Explorer hanging over its head, as well as a rough beginning. Nowadays, I actually prefer it over Chrome. Less fuss.
  • I prefer Edge over Chrome because it has substantially improved over time. Personally, I think it has improved to the point where you can toss Chrome to the trash bin. I like a minimal amount of software and Edge does what I need. If I run into a site where there is a problem, I submit a report and Microsoft fixes it. Why do I hate Google? For the same reasons many people hated Microsoft. Google is monopolistic and their business model is based around selling our data. They also screwed MS on Windows Phone with a lack of YouTube support and I still hold a grudge against them. Screw Google!
  • Edge is still a security risk. It is not as secure as Chrome and is heavily tied into the operating system. Edge is not a good choice for Windows users.
  • "more secure" like the whole Mega's Chrome extension that steals user credentials and crypto keys. GTFO.
  • Agreed on two fronts Dan. 1. regarding the Mega extension...and 2. bleached GTFO!
  • ive seen this guy all over Verge trolling microsoft. hes a major tech troll.
  • Yes. I am very well aware.
  • Yea except. you're wrong on two accounts. first edge is not heavily integrated its a UWP app at core it just uses the graph in windows 10 to talk to everything. also chrome is not secure it tracks everything you do on the web and sends it back to Google last I heckled that was Spyware.
  • You mean like Windows 10 and Cortana send everything back to MS.
  • The Windows 10 telemetry very well anonymised (have you looked at the Windows 10 diagnostic data viewer?) as Microsoft's business model doesn't hinge on knowing everywhere you go on the Internet and what you click on.
  • You need a degree to find know what is what on that. Anyway,. I blocked telemetry on my machine, Simplewall is great for doing that and for stopping other windows apps like cortana trying to talk to MS.
  • What are you smoking today, bleached? I usually enjoy your posts for the differing point of view but this one is hard to take seriously. I admittedly tend to use Chrome more because I still feel Edge is a work in progress though it is getting better all the time and never feels as "bloated" as Chrome. But to say Chrome is more secure is just funny. In fact, when I'm using any of Google's products or services, I just automatically assume security (and privacy) is thrown out the window. Their business model pretty much depends on that being the case.
  • WTF, you know nothing about coding. Nothing about how software works. Chrome is nothing but really nice spyware. Google makes it so it can literally track everything you do online to sell more ads focused at you.
    Microsoft does the same thing but to a much lesser extent and allows you to monitor what ads they focus at you. And it is like 2% of their income as opposed to like 75% for Google.
  • Me too. I find Edge to be super-responsive even in Android.
  • which is strange really as Edge in Android is Chrome with a different UI.
  • No, it's edge using the blink rendering engine. Chrome is alot more than just its rendering engine, and that's the problem. Strip chrome off the rendering engine and replace it with edge, and you get a much better browser on android.
  • If Edge is using the same rendering Engine and that is what I meant to be honest, then what makes it better than Chrome?
  • It's a little more than a UI, but it is chrome based, and can be faster or slower in different situations.
  • Says who? Edge is awful the UI is awful and some sites it doe not render correctly.
  • hater
    edge > chrome.
    deal
  • I have not got a problem with being called a hater. If you think Edge is better than chrome then fine, I do not find it is.
  • Fully agree with you
  • Why hater ! I don't understand this reaction. I am a windows loyal user. I still have my lumia till now and cannot use another OS. But if I gave my opinion about a solution which I think is better than edge it doesn't make me a Hater.
  • Yet a properly coded website will render pretty much identically in Edge, Chrome, Firefox and pretty much every other browser out there so don't blame Edge, blame Chrome and all the proprietary BS it uses in addition to HTML5 standards.
  • Just like we used to have all the propriety rubbish with IE. I remember those days when sites would only work with IE.
  • Exactly and that's what Microsoft is trying to get away from with Edge, but Google going the same route as IE with Chrome isn't helping.
  • you must be talking about pornhub. it is awful on pornhub.
  • I understand this to a point. A lot of people have just gotten used to the first thing they do on a new computer is use IE to go get another browser. So for those people, it makes a bit of sense to say "hey, did you notice that it's not IE anymore and it's actually kinda good?" The question is how you do balance that gentle prompt with another reality that a lot of people have tried Edge and found that it is still not as good. Personally I'm currently using Edge mobile and also use Edge desktop more for personal browsing, but still default to Firefox for work because of some important extensions I need. Maybe they can add some simple machine learning to this. If I have used Edge for a bunch of things, and I use Edge mobile, they should be able to conclude that I know Edge exists and they don't need to keep reminding me of it the way that they might for somebody who has never used Windows 10 before.
  • Quantify "not as good". Be specific with measurable examples please.
  • Disclaimer: I am not the OP, and I am not using Chrome, so my points are only relevant to Edge vs. Firefox comparison. Background: I am using Edge exclusively on my Windows Insider machine and 50/50 with the Firefox on the tablet where I read, and do some occassional web browsing. Everywhere where it really matters, I use Firefox. Why: 1. Clean up on quit -- it is important to me that I have an option to clean (configurable) data sets when I close the browser. Edge went a long way there -- I can select what I want to clean up and the selection will persist across opening "Privacy" menu. Good first step, now add ability to trigger that on exit and I will have one less reason to use Firefox.
    2. Ability to distinguish between the cookies offered for the domain I am actively browsing pages off of and something that was embedded in the page by the third party, I do not care about.
    3. HTTPS Everywhere -- yes, I know it is an extension -- when I see this extension for Edge, this reason will be gone. YMMV... I don't know whether the above qualifies as the "measurable examples" or not.
  • 1. Is already present in Edge since for a very long time.
    2. Same as above - in Advanced settings,
    3. Use SSL Enforcer.
  • First, let me thank you for pointing out "SSL Enforcer" -- it has not been updated for a year, but, hopefully, still good for modern version of the Edge for desktop... which brings out the second part of my comment -- non of the things, you have mentioned work on the Android version of Edge. Firefox, on the other hand, has all of those things across all of the platforms, it is running on. So, if I want consistent experience between desktop and mobile, I will have to stick to Firefox for the time being.
  • "Microsoft will prompt users to try Edge before installing Chrome or Firefox on Windows 10 version 1809"
    And how did they manage to download Chrome or Firefox, if not by "trying Edge"? More useless spam and ads! With the amount of ads in Windows10, they should give Home away for free and reduce Pro to £10.
  • You don't get to know a program in 2min.
  • You do especially when its as bad as Edge.
  • Opening edge and typing in chrome into the search bar is not "trying edge."
  • Some people may have chrome saved to pendrive or external drive,
    I have Cent saved to an external drive, so I can install it without even opening Edge if I have to.
  • Just as bad as when I am on edge, and I want to use google or youtube and its bombarding me with TRY CHROME BROWSER every new page.
  • I use both Edge and Chrome. I use Edge when on battery on my laptop due to better battery life and I use Chrome when I'm plugged into the AC because it's just faster/more efficient. I should have FULL say over what I use on my computer and do NOT appreciate Microsoft or any other company second-guessing my decisions on an OS and hardware I paid for.
  • I use all four major browsers: Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Edge/IE...
  • Add Brave to the mix. It has some unique features you may like.
  • Yeah, but once you download and install Chrome, this particular nagware feature won't bother you again. It is literally a problem of several seconds over however long you wait to reformat your entire PC, which is usually years. After that, you have to tangle with exactly this kind of nagware from Google when you don't use Chrome on Google websites ... Really, this is a lot of whining over nothing.
  • Hey Microsoft the lawyers from "United States v. Microsoft Corp" just called and they'd like to talk about a few things.
  • what about exactly? it's just a recommendation and MS is not in dominant position anymore
  • You're giving away your age dude. Those days are long over!
  • "Hey Microsoft the lawyers from "United States v. Microsoft Corp" just called and they'd like to talk about a few things."
    Specifically about how Heath Stahl is not qualified to make such statements and is, in fact, not a lawyer or legal expert.
  • Learn to take a joke.
  • That's exactly what I was thinking.
  • Ads right in the UI! Windows 10 should be free with the data collection and ads built into the experience.
  • Exactly, Microsoft is now as bad as Google when it comes to pushing ads and data mining its users, its been going downhill with Microsoft ever since the moron Nadella came in. Google at least give you their **** for free for your data, Microsoft has the nerve to charge you hundreds of $$$ for the software and then they still spam and data mine you.
  • Telemetry != data mining for ads. Do not ever conflate the two.
  • You mean like the voice and pen data you are forced to hand over? if you want to use key features of Windows you can't opt out of sending all your data to Microsoft to "improve their products". If Microsoft wants my data to improve their crap they need to pay me for it, the same way I paid to use the damn OS.
    As far as basic telemetry, no I don't want to give them even that, but I don't have a choice there.
  • STFU u can turn off all telemetry and u don't have to have any data sending on for stuff to work. also telemetry is not data mining. MS is not building a profile off of u and selling it like Google is. they are getting statistics to improve their product. You ppl say stuff is horrible but how are they going to fix a problem if they can't get the data that tells them what's wrong.
  • How much did you pay for your copy of Win 10?
  • US $110, I think. I did buy Pro version, though -- Home might be cheaper.
  • Turnabout is fair play. Google (and Adnroid) has been limiting MS for years.
  • Where are there ads in the UI of the free Android OS? You are happy paying Microsoft to serve you ads and data mine?
  • Isn't that Google's entire business model? Serving me ads and data mining?
  • it is. I think that guy is a Google employee trying to discredit the competition. Microsoft used to do this in the past.
  • The entire OS is an ad with Android. You're the product.
  • You don't pay for Android and it doesn't put ads directly in the UI. You pay quite a bit with Windows and it data mines and feeds you ads directly in the interface! Microsoft makes you pay to be the product, and even then their products and services are sub-par.
  • bleached. I've got a Samsung phone.
    It literally never stops sending me updates about new Samsung apps and features I don't want to see or care about. And Google keeps sending me restaurant recommendations. They are popped up, like these er... pop ups.
    Get over yourself Google fanboy. They are all at OS / ad war with each other.
    Nobody is squeaky clean. But at least with Google you know that is their model, scrape as much as they can about you - and sell the results.
    Chrome even grabs your URLs in Incognito.
    No, Google are not saintly. If you keep suggesting it, you are making yourself out to be an idiot.
  • @Bleached. Incorrect, depends on the OEM and Android ROM, I have seen two different Samsung s7's one getting hardly any adverts... the other spammed with adverts via notifications and full screen adverts. Living in a multiplatform household has it's advantages. But yes, Google's entire monetisation model is to use the individual as a product to derive income from (you will be surprised how much of a data trail a person leaves) and to sell adverts at.
  • because Android doesn't data mine and send everything you do like SMS messages to countries like Russia. It is easy to do, as easy as making a bogus company in the US and getting a Google account.
  • Nah, I installed third-party browsers (Edge, in fact) on my Android device just fine without getting any of this crap.
  • When I go to Gmail when using Edge I get asked to use Chrome. I say no. Why then should MS get it in the neck for a similar approach?
  • Going to a website and seeing a prompt is very different than seeing a prompt while installing. To less tech savvy users, it will come across as Chrome is a malicious program.
  • Isn't it though?
  • Edge is much less secure than Chrome. It doesn't get updated as often and is tied into the OS. Edge is a security risk, not Chrome. https://www.tomshardware.com/news/pwn2own-2017-microsoft-edge-hacked,339... https://digitalguardian.com/blog/firefox-safari-edge-all-fall-pwn2own-2018
  • Being disingenuous, as usual bleached. Let's talk about Chrome's extension problem.
  • Is he a Google employee? He is very persistent.
  • And Daniel Rubino works for a website that is based around MS products and no doubt have Ms adverts on here.
    So Daniel is always going to praise MS. Saying that the company he works for also have an Android site, so I doubt Google would take too kindly with his comments either.
  • You haven't been around for long if you think Daniel automatically praises MS.
  • Identified and removed five hours after the breach. That is all you have? The list of Windows and Edge vulnerabilities is quite a bit longer.
  • https://adguard.com/en/blog/big-star-labs-spyware/ https://adguard.com/en/blog/over-20-000-000-of-chrome-users-are-victims-... https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-browsing-safely-ch... https://www.tomsguide.com/us/chrome-extension-security-problems,news-260... https://www.wired.com/story/chrome-extension-malware/ https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/05/malicious-chrome-... "The list of Windows and Edge vulnerabilities is quite a bit longer" Honey, we're talking about Browsers, not OSs. As for it having more vulnerabilities, do you have a source? Or are you saying what you believe is correct with no factual information.
  • It shouldn't have made it into the Chrome Web Store in the first place!!!
  • It only happens once, when you are installing. It never happens again. Seriously.
  • @Gregk. Google does this with Gsuite, the charity I work use Gsuite and since use WM10 for work therefore stuck to using Edge. It's a diabolical experience and even with Firefox (without noscript and ublock) it's an annoying experience - as I find I have to use turn off hardware acceleration just to use Gsuite without it crashing. Also for awhile they were injecting code into the URL of Mobile browsers so Youtube wouldn't work properly. Google is sly and subtle in how they manipulate users into their ecosystem.
  • Wow, this shouln't appear. It borders an antitrust issues. The beauty of Windows is installing anything you want to. Why would Microsoft put this roadblock in place? What they should've done is kept the Spartan name for the browser. The least they could've done is not give Edge a modern looking Internet Explorer logo. It seems like Microsoft wants to break free of the bad rep IE has, but they are too nervous to cut that final tie.
  • ''It borders an antitrust issues. "
    But here's the thing...it doesn't.
  • Since when is advertising your own product within your own product an antitrust issue!!?!
  • When you are a massive fanboy of another platform....that is when. Arguing about android and desktop windows is massively silly too. And bleached, if you want to ***** and complain about Microsoft and edge, how come I cannot install edge on a chromebook? Please, some of your mental gymnastics on that one if you will.
  • Try using a Mac or a Chromebook and see how far that gets you. We all need MS and we know it!
  • I disagree about try Mac. I use it for work and it is a delish to use.
  • Delish? its like using windows 3.11. far from delish. The only place where apple has Microsoft beat is imessage/facetime. THAT'S IT!
  • You were complaining about fanboism elsewhere in this thread, you might be a little guilty of that yourself... MacOS (no matter how you capitalize that) has served certain segment of professionals quite well for a while. Admittedly it has slipped in the last few years and, conversely, Microsoft has done quite a few things right starting from about 1709, but I would not dismiss MacOS quite yet, nor would I call Windows perfect. One of the things, that Apple still does better than Windows is sleep/wakeup -- I had hard time understanding the concept of "instant on" with "always connected PC", because my MacBook Pro of 2010 vintage was doing it just fine. And no, I do not use Facetime, I use Skype and, no, I am not going to start on *that* experience.
  • Nope no fanboy here, just someone who uses it all and knows that macOS is shitte. I removed macOS from my MacBook and installed Linux instead just so the hardware would not just sit there. macOS is the most backassward os I have I used to date. Sewage.
  • In other cases this might be good. I can see the advantage of trying to install a program to open a particular file type, then this prompt telling you "Hey, you've already got something native that can do this". That's pretty cool IMO.
  • Desperate lowlife piece of **** move that will not achieve anything other then annoy users and hopefully get the EU to fine Microsoft again.
  • Or, the safer bet: nothing will happen, and nothing will change.
  • You're right. Edge will continue to be the laughingstock of the browser market and will not gain any new users from this.
  • While I don't think this is a good solution, and will definitely bother advanced users who already decided to install another browser, I don't think the visitors here really know the reason for many users installing Chrome... short version is, most aren't actually by choice. Considering many people don't even know when they're installing Chrome, I hope they have another dialog that shows when Chrome is sneakily bundled with another software installer, explaining to the user that what they are installing is about to also install something else they never choose to install. Google is still paying other companies to bundle Chrome with their installers, a well known trick used by browser hijackers and toolbars, which Google just figured was a clever and "not-too-evil" idea (after all, if malwares are doing it, it's fine, right?).
    Even Adobe bundles Chrome with Acrobat Reader. This is not a required dependency for Adobe Reader, as if you're downloading it from Firefox, you'll get McAfee bundled instead. Most of the people I see using Chrome as thier default browser have no idea they're using Chrome, and even have no idea they installed it, the thing just got installed along with some other software they needed and claimed the default browser place without asking while the installer had admin rights. Google even goes to the extend of claiming they are against that exact behavior :
    "We believe software should not trick you into installing it. It should be clear to you when you are installing or enabling software on your computer and you should have the ability to say no. An application shouldn’t install itself onto your computer secretly or by hiding within another program you’re installing or updating. You should be conspicuously notified of the functions of all the applications in a bundle." (https://www.google.com/about/software-principles.html)
    ... I guess that only applies to other companies, like when Google needs a reason to block a competing software by "helping the user stay safe from choices". So yeah, Microsoft's popup isn't a good solution and will bother some, but it definitely isn't worse than how Google is sneakily installing Chrome on many people's computers, and how their own popup to install Chrome bothers me when I'm visiting google.com or YouTube using Edge.
  • I'm fine with this, so many people just go straight to firefox/chrome without a thought. I don't think there is any harm in letting people know there is an alternative. Google continuously do it on all their websites, even if you say no it still comes back. I di find it funny though that MS basically got in a lot of trouble for this all those years ago, but no-one has moaned at the other companies doing it these days, so good on the for joining back in and getting some customers.
  • On the one hand, a lot of people are going to take issue with this. On the other hand, I don't have sympathy for them because you can't use ANY google site without popups saying to use Chrome. I almost feel like this could be setup knowing that if regulators go after them for it they'll have to acknowledge Google's hipocrisy.