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Microsoft’s Intrusive Pop–Up Ads Push Bing AI On Chrome Users

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Posted On: 2024-03-17 - 2 min read

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Microsoft is once again at and has started displaying pop-up ads on Google's Chrome browser on Windows 10 and 11. As reported by The Verge, the pop-ups promote Microsoft's Bing search engine and AI-powered chatbot and appear on top of other apps and windows. They urge users to switch their default search engine to Bing. However, some users have compared these pop-ups to malware.

Caitlin Roulston, Microsoft's director of communications, confirmed the authenticity of the pop-ups in a statement to The Verge, stating, "This is a one-time notification giving people the choice to set Bing as their default search engine on Chrome." She added that users who switch and sign in with their Microsoft account will receive additional chat turns in Copilot and access to their chat history.

The pop-up ad boldly states, "Chat with GPT-4 for free on Chrome! Get hundreds of daily chat turns with Bing Al." If users click "Yes," the "Bing Search" Chrome extension is installed, and Bing becomes the default search engine. However, Chrome displays its own pop-up, asking users to confirm the change and warning them about the extension's actions.

Microsoft has faced criticism for aggressively promoting Bing and Edge through various means, including pop-ups, taskbar notifications, and full-screen messages following Windows updates. Earlier this year, Microsoft had to fix an issue where Edge automatically imported browsing data and tabs from Chrome without user consent.

The latest pop-up ad is not part of a Windows update but rather linked to server-side processes such as _BCILauncher.EXE_ or _BingChatInstaller.EXE_, which was added to some Windows systems on March 13. Unfortunately, there is no easy way for users to prevent the ad from appearing.

While Microsoft claims to value user choice, the company's persistent and aggressive promotion tactics have drawn criticism from those who prefer to stick with their chosen browser and search engine. Many users find these pop-ups intrusive and feel that they are being forced to choose.

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Category: Technology

Tags: Techai

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