Edge Dev Hero 2020 NewfeatureSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Microsoft recently started testing buy now, pay later functionality in its Edge browser.
  • The feature drew criticism from many for being built directly into the browser.
  • Over half of polled Windows Central readers believe that Edge should not have shopping features built in.

Microsoft Edge Dev recently gained a buy now, pay later (BNPL) feature that allows people to spread online purchases across several installments. The announcement of the integration caused a discussion on the web about what should be built into a browser. While some were frustrated with such a feature being built into Edge, others defended the move, often citing that the tool is optional. Over the weekend, we ran a poll asking if Edge should have shopping features built in.

Over half (55%) of polled participants believe that Edge should not have any shopping features built directly into the browser. Several pointed to extensions as alternatives that allow shoppers to add similar tools.

A smaller but sizable group of voters said that shopping features are fine as long as they're optional. Over 32% of participants chose this option.

Just over 7% of voters believe that only features that save money should be built into the browser. Buy now, pay later allows people to spread payments across installments, but it does not reduce the cost of anything purchased. In contrast, Edge has a coupon tool that applies discount codes in a similar way to Honey.

Lastly, 5.05% of polled participants believe that shopping features should be built into Edge.

SvenJ explained it the comment section of our poll post that they would prefer these types of features be available through extensions:

I'd prefer it be implemented as an extension. Yes, I can turn it off, which I did. Which also turned off the coupon thing, which I also didn't like. It consistently dropped down covering up functions I was needing to get to. It was just annoying.

I do understand making it off by default, or making it an extension, would then require advertising to let people know it exists, and convince them to turn it on. Note this is not a MS BNPL function. It is a third party function that presumably paid MS to stick it in the browser. That precedent is concerning, and potentially 'anti-[competitive].' PayPal has a BNPL option as well. Why is that not built in, and does this harm PayPal by MS having this other one built in?

While the majority of voters dislike shopping features being built into Edge, those that shared comments had a range of opinions.

"That loan thing was advertising and I find that unacceptable." Explained Culex316. "However, the money-saving coupon feature is very welcome and awesome and I don't mind having that, but there should also be a prompt to inform the user that they can always disable it in the settings if need be."

Cornelius Hardy focused on the fact that BNPL is optional in the comments section of our poll piece:

I like them. I have the capital one extension and the Microsoft both which scan for coupon codes and have saved me tons of money so far. I've also used klarna a few times before it even came to edge. Nice to have it within easy access. Not sure what people are complaining about. You aren't forced to use it. Turn it off and it's like it was never there. For people that shop a lot especially during the holiday season I think this was a good idea and at the right time.

A comment by "A B10" says, "stop all the gripping, the feature can actually save you money and is useful. To all the whiners, it can be turned off. No big deal. Learn to relax. 😄."

Over the weekend, we also ran an editorial titled "Microsoft Edge integrating buy now, pay later is predatory and disappointing." That piece drew several more comments defending Microsoft integrating BNPL into Edge. Make sure to check out that piece to see more perspectives on the situation as it continues to develop.