Windows 10 is reportedly going to start warning users when installing a non-Edge browser. Beta testers are currently getting an early look at Microsoft’s upcoming October 2018 Windows Update, and some have noticed a rather annoying new inclusion.
When installing a new, non-Microsoft Edge web browser for the first time — such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Vivaldi — some beta users have been greeted with a system message that seems to “warn” against running the applications.
It isn’t technically a “warning”, and doesn’t block you from performing the installation or running the application, but the message implies that Windows is trying to safeguard you from making a potentially system-endangering mistake.
Worry not: Non-Edge browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox haven’t somehow become major risks for Windows users — Microsoft just really wants you to use Edge.
We’re hoping this doesn’t show up in October’s update. Thankfully, if it does, you should only see the message when you install a new browser for the first time, so at worst it will be an odd (though potentially alarming for some) one-off message. You can simply ignore this “warning” and move forward with the installation.
Windows/Mac. In case you can’t remember the last time Windows 95 was cool, we’ll help. The Grateful Dead had performed their final show, Paul Keating was Prime Minister of Australia, and Telecom Australia changed its name to Telstra.
Based on images of the warning posted by testers on Twitter, it also appears Microsoft has seemingly made is possible to disable these pop-ups in the first place. Since we aren’t beta testing the new Windows 10 update, we aren’t exactly sure how one will disable the warnings, but we expect it to at least be similar to the current method of disabling Windows 10's (frankly desperate) attempts to get users to use Edge.
If it seems disingenuous for Microsoft to include a “warning” such as this in Windows 10, that’s because it is. It’s technically true that Edge is faster and more secure than some other browsers, and you will find plenty of debate over what browser is best in forums and comment sections.
However, the reality is that every available web browser is a viable option in its own right, replete with its own security measures and unique features.
We aren’t surprised Microsoft is trying to divert users away from the competition and toward Edge. The company has made similar attempts to funnel users towards using its proprietary software or obfuscate alternative applications throughout Windows 10's lifetime.
If you’re a Windows 10 users, you’ve likely seen and ignored your fair share of Cortana, OneDrive and other Edge ads passing themselves off as “alerts” in the past. These warnings are just the latest incarnation of an odd strategy that has yet to work out in Microsoft’s favour.
The good news is we’re still a few weeks out from the October 2018 update. With beta testers unhappy about the unnecessary pop-ups, it’s uncertain the “warning” messages will be in the final version. The company has been receptive to beta tester feedback in the past, and now that more people are being made aware, there’s hope Microsoft could scrap the idea entirely before it rolls out to the public.
We’ll be patiently waiting until then, and if the warning messages happen to make it in, you can be sure we’ll update you on how to turn off them off.