Microsoft tells Chrome users to switch to its Edge browser on Outlook

Microsoft Edge icon logo

Illustration by Stephen Shankland / CNET

For years, Google has placed prominent pop-up ads in its web properties, indicating that users are switching to Google’s Chrome browser for better performance, better features, and better security. Now Microsoft is trying the same idea and using its email service to get people to its newly redesigned Edge web browser.

“Microsoft Edge + Outlook = Better Together,” says a promotional text at the top of the Outlook.com website. Clicking the text will take you to an edge download site. However, the site does not specify how Microsoft believes the technology works better. A variety of other ads can also appear: according to Windows Latestwho discovered the ads earlier this week.

The promotion is a new example of tech giants that use power in a domain to promote their browsers. Microsoft has also asked users to switch with Edge View in the Windows 10 start menu. Although Apple allows third-party browsers on its iPhones and iPads, they must build their software using Apple’s own Safari browser technology.

Microsoft Edge promo on Outlook.com

Microsoft Edge and Outlook are “better together”, says a Microsoft ad.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland / CNET

It’s not clear how widespread Microsoft’s Edge advertising is. I saw it in Chrome but not in other browsers and only on one computer. Microsoft and Google didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments.

Chrome dominates browser usage and accounts for 64 percent of web activity. according to analysis company StatCounter. Microsoft reduced its Internet Explorer to a more modern Edge years ago. However, when this failed to prevail, Microsoft Edge rebuilt on Chromium, Google’s open source foundation for Chrome.

This new version of Edge is now available for download. Microsoft plans to distribute it later this spring through Windows Update.

Browsers are important for technology giants. They forward the traffic to search engines, which often share the resulting advertising revenue with the browser. When Chrome sends searches to Google or Edge to Bing, browser manufacturers don’t have to share the earnings with another company.

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