Microsoft has recently halted Bing ads that target Chrome users who have Google set as their default search engine. Users of Windows 11 and 10 have noticed an increase in Bing and Edge advertisements, including a recent pop-up that appears on top of games, in an attempt by the tech giant to steer users towards using Bing instead of Google search in Chrome.
This aggressive campaign involved a pop-up that appeared on the lower right side of the desktop, hovering over all apps and games. The ad aimed to remind users of the advantages of using Bing, such as AI chat and Microsoft Rewards. However, in response to user reports and inquiries, a Microsoft spokesperson informed Windows Latest that the company is aware of the Bing pop-ups appearing on top of games, even when notification settings have been ignored. As a result, Microsoft has temporarily halted these advertisements while investigating the matter.
Tests have confirmed that Microsoft has indeed disabled the ad. A Microsoft representative stated, “We are aware of reports and have paused this notification while we investigate.” It is worth noting that the pop-up specifically targets devices with Google Chrome and Google Search. Users have reported receiving the anti-Google pop-up even during full-screen gaming sessions or while streaming content. This alert is associated with a tool called “BGAUpsell.EXE,” linked to Microsoft Bing Service 2.0, a background process that enhances Bing on Windows 11 and 10. It is likely that this tool interacts with various features where Bing is integrated, including Windows Search. The presence of the “IsEdgeUsedInLast48Hours” reference suggests that the pop-up may be triggered if Microsoft Edge has not been used in the past 48 hours. Additionally, Microsoft may be able to detect if Google or another search engine is active in Chrome, explaining why the pop-up only appeared on select devices.
It is worth mentioning that Microsoft is not the only company using ads to promote Bing and Edge. Google also employs similar tactics, often recommending Chrome to users while they browse YouTube, Gmail, and other services using Microsoft Edge. Microsoft, for its part, has previously used pop-ups or alerts in Windows and other locations to suggest products such as Bing and Edge. For instance, there have been instances of pop-ups appearing in the address bar of Edge, reminding users that Microsoft’s browser operates on the same technology as Google Chrome but comes with the added trust of Microsoft. These alerts also encourage users to make money by using Edge on Windows through Microsoft Rewards.
In conclusion, both Microsoft and Google employ advertisements to promote their respective search engines and browsers. While Microsoft has temporarily paused Bing pop-ups on Chrome to investigate the situation, it is important to recognize that these advertising tactics are commonly used by various tech companies in the industry.