Poll: How do you feel about Microsoft Edge having Bing in its Toolbar?
A Bing icon within the Edge Toolbar is causing controversy, at least to some people.
The new Bing powered by ChatGPT recently made its way to the stable version of Microsoft Edge. The browser now features a Bing icon that summons a set of features, including a chatbot, a compose tool, and an insights section. While the features make the browser more capable, some have complained about the Bing icon within the Toolbar.
At the moment, there is not a simple way to remove the Bing icon from the Toolbar. You can do so through a registry edit, but that's not the most user-friendly experience. Microsoft is testing an option to hide the Bing icon with a toggle.
Some have complained about Microsoft placing its features in a prominent spot within Edge. Others feel that Microsoft promoting its own services within its own browser is a reasonable strategy that also provides more functionality to users.
Which side do you fall on? Let us know in our latest poll. After you vote, scroll down a bit to read my thoughts.
Windows Central take
Microsoft certainly has the right to promote Bing, OneDrive, or any of its other products within Edge. After all, the tech giant makes Microsoft Edge. As long as it doesn't block people from using alternatives, there's no antitrust issue. But to me, this isn't about antitrust issues, it's about choice and faith in products.
I use Bing as my primary search engine. I also use Edge as my primary browser. In fact, Edge is basically my only browser. I have Edge Canary, Dev, and stable on my PC. But I choose to use Edge and its features because I feel that they provide a superior service for my workflow.
I think Microsoft should win people over by creating products worth using. When Edge was remade with Chromium, quite a few folks tried out the revamped browser. A lot of those people have stuck around and even become advocates for Edge, emphasizing to others that it isn't just a rebranded Internet Explorer or the same Edge that shipped with Windows 10.
Bing should be the same way. If people like the new Bing, they won't mind having it within the browser Toolbar. If Bing isn't good enough or what they want, people should have the option to hide it with a toggle.
Now, you could say that people can "just switch browsers" if they don't like the Bing icon, but I think that ignores a segment of users that genuinely enjoy Microsoft products but that don't want Bing on their browser Toolbar.
What if someone uses Edge, Microsoft 365 online, and Microsoft Teams for web but they don't like the fact that hovering a mouse over a certain part of their browser now summons a Sidebar? What if they liked the Edge Sidebar before Bing got integrated and used it for Office, Outlook, and other Microsoft services but they don't like Bing? Should those users have to leave Edge just to get away from an icon that expands if you accidentally take too long to click the X of Edge's window to close it?
While I personally like Bing, I think Microsoft is going to push people away from Edge if it pushes Bing too hard. In my opinion, Microsoft should present its services through cross-app and cross-platform advertising but give people an option to use specific services. There are people who like Edge but don't like Bing.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.