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Microsoft is showing pop-up ads within Google Chrome on Windows again Pexels

In an attempt to encourage people to switch to its search engine, Bing, Microsoft is once again showing pop-up ads within Google Chrome.

These intrusive pop-up ads, reminiscent of malware practice, first appeared in 2023. They bypassed other applications and windows, displaying prominently on top of them. Following a temporary pause to address "unintended behaviour," pop-up notifications have resurfaced on Windows 10 and Windows 11 OS-powered machines.

Some Windows users have reportedly encountered new pop-up ads within Google Chrome, promoting Microsoft's Bing search engine and Bing AI. Clicking "yes" on this pop-up allows Microsoft to make Bing your default search engine within the Chrome browser.

Uncertain about the legitimacy of these pop-up ads promoting Bing within Chrome, Windows users have taken to Reddit to discuss their concerns. However, Microsoft has assured The Verge that these pop-ups are genuine and should appear only once.

In a statement to The Verge, Caitlin Roulston, director of communications, said: "This is a one-time notification giving people the choice to set Bing as their default search engine on Chrome." Last year, Bing's search market share decreased year over year despite ChatGPT integration.

Roulston further noted that the pop-up will offer perks to Windows users. According to the top executive, those who accept the notification will get more chat turns in Copilot (possibly referring to additional chat interactions).

"We value providing our customers with choice, so there is an option to dismiss the notification," Roulston said. However, critics argue that if the software giant truly prioritised user choice, it would provide an uncomplicated method to turn off these pop-ups permanently.

Microsoft's pushy tactics frustrate Windows users

Many Windows users find it challenging to avoid switching to Bing and Edge entirely due to the company's frequent prompts spread across the operating system, even after adjusting settings.

Microsoft has been showing pop-up ads on Chrome users for a while now. These pop-ups, promoting Microsoft services, appear within Chrome, on the Windows taskbar, and in other areas of the Windows interface.

Microsoft has previously rolled out updates that caused Edge to become the default browser unexpectedly. This post-update screen often showcased ads urging users to switch to Bing and Edge.

In a move that sparked user privacy concerns, Microsoft addressed a bug earlier this year where Edge automatically imported browsing data and tabs from Chrome, all without user permission.

Later, cashing in on the skyrocketing popularity of AI, the company renamed its mobile browser from Edge to Microsoft Edge: AI browser.