The test prompt - "You already have Microsoft Edge, the safer, faster browser for Windows 10" - reportedly appeared to testers when they tried to run Chrome or Firefox on the latest Windows 10 update. When you download the installer for these browsers and try to install them, the Edge prompt will pop up, suggesting that "Edge is the faster, safer browser designed for Windows".
Users can choose to open Microsoft Edge or install the third-party browser, and they can choose to disable future warnings by following a link to their OS Settings.
This version of Windows 10 is now only available to Windows 10 Insiders, but will be rolled out to the public as part of Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 update.
For years now, Microsoft has been fighting what really feels like a losing battle against Google and Mozilla, two big players in the internet browser space. Multiple sources for worldwide browser market share estimate only a small proportion of Windows 10 users choose Edge. Seeing the numbers, it is understandable why Microsoft would want to push Edge down everyone's throat but Insiders and Windows users in general are apparently miffed. Judging from the current implementation it will be opt-out which means that the intercepting prompts are displayed to all users by default who attempt third-party software installations.
It then steps up the pressure, providing no less than four boxes demonstrating how Edge helps you browse the internet for longer, faster and with built-in protection. Microsoft is now training users to click through these warnings, which also appear after you download and launch an app. There are a number of other places where Microsoft promotes Edge, and it's generally quite annoying.
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Now it's trying to intercept people before they install Chrome or Firefox without actually preventing them from installing those browsers.
And, even after you make another browser your default, many things in Windows 10 ignore your preference and just open Edge anyway. Now it's being used to trumpet Edge, too.
Microsoft has managed to stir the hornet's nest once again. This is an escalation in the war between Edge, Chrome, and Firefox.
WTF?! As demonstrated by the methods it used to get people onto Windows 10, Microsoft isn't averse to using shady tactics when pushing its products. To do that requires focusing on making Edge better than the alternatives and marketing it as such.