Microsoft announced today that it has discontinued the display of intrusive Bing pop-ups to Chrome users on Windows 11, which suggested they switch their default search engine to Bing. These pop-ups were particularly bothersome as they appeared above full-screen apps and games, which is not an ideal user experience.
The Verge’s Tom Warren discovered the executable file responsible for these pop-ups and observed that it behaved like malware, despite being digitally signed by Microsoft. Additionally, many Reddit users who also encountered these intrusive pop-ups were suspicious of their origin.
In response to the criticism and confusion, Microsoft stated to The Verge that they have stopped showing these pop-ups to Windows 11 users. Caitlin Roulston, the director of communications, mentioned that they are aware of the reports and have paused the notifications while investigating and taking appropriate action to address this unintended behavior.
In recent years, Microsoft has faced backlash for its overt promotion of services such as Edge, OneDrive, and Game Pass on Windows 11. Windows enthusiasts, including Paul Thurrott, have voiced their concerns about this issue. However, Microsoft continues to find new ways to advertise its services on its operating system, which can be frustrating for users who feel a lack of control over the OS they paid for.
Windows 11 has taken things a step further by making features like Windows Search and Widgets open all links in Edge. However, there may be changes on the horizon for the EU. The release notes for the latest Dev Channel build mentioned that Windows system components would use the default browser to open links. However, Paul Thurrott was unable to replicate this functionality.
Rest assured, Microsoft will likely find alternative methods to display ads on Windows 11. Despite users growing tired of Microsoft’s aggressive approach, the company probably believes that the likelihood of people switching to Linux or macOS out of annoyance is minimal.