Microsoft Edge is undeniably a very solid browser. It has many of the same features as Google Chrome, even a few clever unique features of its own. So why is Microsoft hell-bent on making people hate it?
It’s no secret that Microsoft frequently uses Windows to push its own products. The latest tactic is pop-ups that appear when you visit the Chrome download page. Google does something similar, but it can only use web prompts. On Windows 11, Microsoft is using native prompts and notifications that are not available to developers.
This is clearly Microsoft giving preferential treatment to its own browser. It’s really a shame because Edge is legitimately a good product. I’ve gone on record to recommend it, and I still use it on my PC and Android phone, but Microsoft’s actions are making it harder to justify.
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In 2020, Microsoft rolled out a new version of Edge based on Chromium. It now has the same backbone as Google Chrome. You can sync things across devices, use Tab Groups, and do basically everything you’d expect from Chrome. Microsoft has also included a few of its own features like Kids Profiles.
If you like Chrome, Edge is essentially the same experience, just without some Google stuff. It really is a good browser. However, the “Edge” name has some baggage attached to it. The pre-Chromium version of Edge was notoriously unpopular and not very good. This is the battle Microsoft is fighting.
On some level, I understand where Microsoft is coming from. It has a legitimately good product, but there are a lot of people not willing to give it a chance. I get it can be frustrating to make something new and have people judge it based on past experiences.
The problem is Microsoft is going about it all wrong.
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Let the Product Speak For Itself
Microsoft’s dilemma with Edge is not unique. Changing people’s minds about products is one of the main purposes of marketing. Coca-Cola’s campaign for the new Coke Zero recipe is a good example. The ads insist “You have to try it first,” basically pleading people to give it a chance before judging.
That’s the approach Microsoft needs to take. If you make a good product, you’re proud of it, and you think people will genuinely like it, you’ve already done half the work. You have to give people a chance to try it and decide they like it for themselves.
Being too pushy about it can have the opposite of the desired outcome. It makes people not want to try it. Most people don’t like to be told what to do, even if it’s something that could be good for them. It doesn’t matter how good Edge is, if Microsoft is insistent on shoving it in people’s faces, they’re going to resent it.
Don’t Make Me Regret Recommending Edge
Microsoft’s aggressive push to get people to use Edge is starting to make me regret recommending it. I still think Edge is a very good browser. Feature for feature, it may even be better than Chrome. None of that matters if Microsoft makes using it feel gross, though.
That’s the moral of the story. Don’t make people feel bad about using your products. I want to like Edge, I want to tell people to use it, I think it’s good to have a solid alternative to Google Chrome. However, if Microsoft keeps using Windows to leverage Edge, I will have to stop using it out of principle.
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