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Microsoft Edge is getting out of control and this needs to stop

Microsoft Edge is getting out of control and this needs to stop

Microsoft is being way too agressive in trying to push its browser to the top (Image source: Microsoft/Unsplash – edited)

Microsoft just keeps adding new features to Edge, the default browser of Windows. Most of these are not only useless, they also hamper productive workflow by throwing the user into a bottomless pit filled with unwanted pop-ups, requests and subtle but not-at-all-welcome design changes. Additionally, they are peppered with what one can call outright privacy violations.

Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author.

Microsoft’s decision to switch from the in-house rendering engine to Chromium in 2021 brought with it long-awaited performance uplifts while also improving the range of available browser extensions tremendously. That was a massive win for users.

Two years on, the new Edge browser is a disaster. Quite a few users of Windows 10 and Windows 11 prefer to disable updates on every Microsoft product they get their hands on and now, I finally understand why. The default browser of Windows keeps getting new features, and to me, most of these are not just useless, they are actually counterproductive.

  • Save time and money with Shopping!
  • Let Microsoft Edge help keep your tabs organized!
  • Get notifications of related things you can explore with Discover!
  • Put inactive tabs to sleep!
  • Enable grammar and spellcheck assistance!
  • Show mini menu when selecting text!

This is certainly not an exhaustive list. While select few features are indeed welcome and useful – for example, Edge remembers the page where the user stopped reading a PDF document and will load that page automatically the next time the user opens the file – most are not. To me, a browser is a tool that has to be predictable and obedient. What I get instead is a stream of subversive features that quietly get installed in the background without my knowledge or consent, making me feel exposed and angry – like the “Share browsing data with other Windows features” one.

Microsoft’s latest excercise in disrespecting users involves adding some kind of a “search the Web right from your desktop” widget that just keeps on re-appearing after a while, despite multiple attempts to close it and disable the feature. Perhaps it’s just me and perhaps some people will actually find this bit of functionality useful. Who knows? What I am sure of is the following – Microsoft has to dial it down a notch, otherwise its efforts to make Edge the best and the most widely used browser out there will eventually backfire.

I do not need any help resolving navigation errors – or any help with shopping. I’ll just have to disable all of this
Do not share my browsing data with anything or anyone, thank you very much
I really, really do not need notifications about websites supposedly slowing my system down
No sleeping tabs for me, thanks. I do not want Edge to get loaded every time I turn my system on, either
Enhanced grammar, spelling, and style suggestions? I beg your pardon, did you just say my writing’s terrible?
Pre-loading? But I do not want cookies of websites that I’ll never visit
Sorry, Microsoft. I like it when a link actually looks like a link, with “https” at the beginning and “html” at the end
I want to be greeted with something nice every time I launch the browser. Not with a landing page of a Microsoft partner
I do not want your Side bar, Microsoft. Sorry, but I’d rather have a cleaner browser window
Does anyone on this planet actually like these pop-up menus?
Express checkout? I honestly doubt this will ever be of use to me

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