Microsoft has once again released a server-side update that promotes Bing.com to users who utilize Google or other search engines within Google Chrome for Windows 11 and Windows 10. Despite facing criticism from users regarding the intrusive pop-ups on Windows 11, Microsoft shows no signs of slowing down.
Last week, we reported on how Edge flagged ChromeSetup as harmful and recommended that users continue using Edge through three large pop-ups. In their most recent attempt to promote Microsoft Rewards points and Bing Chat AI, Microsoft is testing a new pop-up that appears in the lower right corner of the desktop, above all apps and games.
This pop-up, part of an initiative to promote Microsoft Rewards points and Bing Chat, invades various Windows 11 settings, such as notifications and focus assist, and even appears during gaming sessions. Some users reported receiving the pop-up while playing a full-screen game.
It’s particularly intriguing as full-screen games automatically disable all notifications in the operating system. However, Microsoft allows its Bing pop-ups to bypass Windows 11’s settings, so some users may still receive alerts while playing games, watching videos, or streaming content.
The pop-up, titled “Switch your default search engine to Microsoft Bing in Chrome,” states: “Earn Microsoft Rewards points when you search. Try the new Bing, your AI-powered search engine. Install Bing Service to improve search experience.”
The alert is triggered by a file located at C:\Windows\Temp\MUBSTemp\BGAUpsell.EXE, associated with Microsoft Bing Service 2.0, an update for Windows 11 and 10 designed to enhance the Bing experience. This file is likely used by Windows Search and other features where Bing is integrated.
BGAUpsell.EXE is also used to display Microsoft Bing or Edge-related notifications in Windows 11.
Interestingly, a quick analysis of the BGAUpsell.EXE file revealed an attribute called “IsEdgeUsedInLast48Hours,” which appears to check when Microsoft Edge was last used. The alert may be triggered if Edge hasn’t been used within the past 48 hours.
Furthermore, it seems that Microsoft can detect whether Google or another search engine is being used in Chrome, and if so, the pop-up will appear.
Although Microsoft claims to provide users with full control over the browsers they use in Windows 11, many users are frustrated by these pop-ups, viewing them as an invasion of privacy and an aggressive push to use Bing and Microsoft Edge.
It remains to be seen how Microsoft will respond to the growing discontent among its user base.