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Screw You, Microsoft Edge (charlespetzold.com)
304 points by ingve 73 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 154 comments

I think the “insulted” part is too much. Yes, the consumers shopping on bookshop.org for a common book aren’t just trying to get books for the lowest price, but maybe 99% of online shoppers are. Maybe I should be insulted that the author thinks being identified as someone wanting the lowest price is insulting.

I mean it is the perfect expression of what a lot of us hate about modern apps. The constant sucking up of all data for advertising.

Lets be honest to follow best practice on security/privacy is a constant schlep of tweaking options and compromising on functionality. Then to have a base tool just throw in your face that "We've added a feature and even though you've got 'send do not track' ticked this is not at all the same so we'll turn it on by default". Yeah I understand the need to vent especially if he chose IE as a minor way to get away from google tracking[1].

I mean, sure, we probably won't ever reach verification mountain dew, but that meme first came about in 2012 and not surprisingly we've slid closer and closer to that in the mean time. People have had years of getting sicker and sicker of the slow visible decline.

[1] After seeing the comments about who the author is it's more likely he defaults to Microsoft products.

As an old guy who yells at clouds, it's reassuring to see another old guy on here yelling at clouds.

Yelling at clouds, indeed. The "cloudification" of products is another thing that irritates me greatly these days.

There is no cloud, just someone else’s computer

Underrated comment.

This is a fine reason to yell at clouds because Edge seems to share your shopping lists with Microsoft. But that argument didn't ever stop the voucher crowd anyway.

Agreed. Most consumers are price sensitive and probably would find this helpful instead of insulting.

"Most" consumers want their browsing scanned so that they have Walmart ads pushed to them while book shopping? I disbelieve.

Your average person isn’t looking at this through that lens. Unless you’re doing a lot of work the amount of tracking you’re being subject to is astronomical and at least in this case there is a tangible benefit to them.

The discourse around privacy and tracking isn’t particularly relevant here and it certainly isn’t front of mind for your average person.

I think most consumers expect most things to be commercial experiences controlled by someone else.

Some like it; some don't; few believe they have a choice to be anything other than a consumer.

You do realize that this feature supersizes the impact of price dumping.

Pay 1 dollar less today. Pay 10 dollars more in the future on everything, the second the smaller local store goes out of business.

At this rate why even bother with the pretext or capitalism. As long as price dumping is tolerated those with the most wealth can buy a monopoly.

If you choose the largest and cheapest vendor for something you are failing yourself, your friends and family and your neighbours.

If you let Microsoft do this, you might as well get on your knees and kiss the feet of Jeff Bezos. One company should be enough for everyone.

And then we don't need this feature anymore either, because there will be no choice. We won't even need advertising anymore.

>Maybe I should be insulted that the author thinks being identified as someone wanting the lowest price is insulting. They give completely valid reasons and they're not necessarily angry specifically about a lower price being offered, but that Edge does not know which metrics by which they judge a store.

Ie Say I'm trying to buy specifically from an LGBT friendly site, oop but it's cheaper over at this other place that also sponsors several anti-LGBT politicos, so the suggestion is useless because price isn't everything, it just is most of the time.

I'm going to offer a different take; I like this! I kinda stopped paying attention to Edge after it went Chromium. The old Edge engineering posts were very interesting.

Anyway, I just fired it up to check this feature and didn't get the experience the author implies. The shopping notices appear as right justified text in the address bar then collapse right into the little shopping tag. I have to click this tag to see the shopping information pop-up.

Viewed an Amiibo on Amazon and it told me I had the best price, but it also told me the price has increased recently. In the pop-up, that I clicked the tag to produce, I could see price history on the item over the past few months.

Pretty cool and will try this out over the next month or so of shopping I think.

Same as experience here, i.e. it's not a popup but an icon in the address bar which needs manual user action to trigger (it also supports voucher codes).

I do not like the feature, but it's not as UI intrusive as the article suggests; it is however privacy invasive. Despite disabling multiple edge features related to telemetry, this is a new default-on option.

I like Edge enough that it's my default browser on Windows, Android and secondary to Firefox on Linux. However, one or two more features like this and I may use something else.

I think the context is missed here. It's a useful tool, but should it be an active-by-default feature shipped with the browser? It doesn't add security and doesn't enhance speed. Wasn't it more acceptable if this was an add-on?

You could say the same about several features in Chrome or Firefox or any other browser. Does Firefox need to have Pocket by default? Does chrome need to have integration with Google? Organizations build browsers due to their self interest, so just talking about security and speed is a small part of the decisions that the product team might make.

BTW I always wonder what kind of profit Pocket might bring to Mozilla. They own it anyway.

The integrated Pocket does show some "suggestions" on the default new tab page. But I don't see any ads on them, and sometimes they are pocketed articles from paid-subscription resources like e.g. The Atlantic. It it's a kind of paid content advertising ("we pay you to bring more readers to this ad-free text page"), it can't be a very lucrative service.

Disclaimer: I actively use Pocket, but I'm not a paying subscriber of it.

Pocket totally has ads. The HelloFresh ones are incessant. It's just that they're ads in "article" form.

If “adding security” and “enhancing speed” were the only criteria for enabling features, then every browser would ship with JavaScript disabled. You might claim this would be a good thing, but, I’m pretty sure the average web user would disagree.

i like this too and a very useful feature and stopped using chrome since edge got insanely faster and lighter in the past few updates

Microsoft actually did that. Built ads into the browser. On top of other pages. I did not think they'd go that far.

This is the Charles Petzold who used to write Microsoft API books, correct? Will they revoke his Microsoft MSDN membership for this?

They already revoked his MSDN subscription, and everybody else's.

They also killed off the magazine, the last issue is from November 2019.

Is there a program that replaced MSDN?

I’m waxing nostalgic over the binders of CDs from the subscription over the years.

Yes, the Microsoft Partner Program.

They already built ads into the operating system, so this doesn't seem like a huge leap to me.

This sort of thing used to be only seen in hostile "toolbars" installed via drive-by installs.

"Users put up with this shit for decades? We're leaving money on the table by not doing it ourselves!"

- Some exec at MS

Sadly smartphones have ruined what is defined as good behavior. What really grinds me is that they advertise themselves as safer than sideloaded apps. Because in general the latter behave much better.

For context:

> In 1984 I began writing for PC Magazine, which led to a full-time freelance career that included writing for Microsoft Systems Journal and MSDN magazines.

> My book Programming Windows was published in six editions between 1988 and 2012

> In 2014 I began working as a full-time employee for Xamarin (which was acquired in 2016 by Microsoft), where I wrote a book and documentation

Not a lawyer, but doesn't this reek of an antitrust issue again?

Imagine, I'm an operator of an independent book store - and Microsoft uses their market power to actively drive away customers from my site and direct them to the competition instead.

Bonus points for the dark patterns embedded in that dialog box which make it hard to not switch to Walmart even if you actively want to stay on the page.

Indeed it does. Googling the feature, it's said to scan for items that have coupons. I guess I can get behind that (scan only the active page for known items, match with known rebates, and don't drive me to a separate site).

I could even get behind a site warning for purchases known fraud sites (In jurisdictions where such blacklists are easy to come by from relevant authorities).

But driving me from an independent store to WalMart to save $2? Imagine Wal Mart sending out one employee to walk around each independent bookstore, whispering "you can get that 10% cheaper at Wal Mart". I think people might take offense.Here microsoft offers exactly that service to Wal Mart.

I think it just finds lower prices. It can also drive you from Walmart to another seller that has a cheaper price.

Good point. Walmart should also be unhappy about this.

Walmart will price match. If you show them the website of a competitor like Amazon with a cheaper price, they will charge you the lower price. I wonder how that would play into this.

I suspect Microsoft isn't indexing prices of smaller retailers as well, so that would also drive more business to Walmart.

Is the link an affiliate link, or is Walmart paying for this? If either is right, it's definitely not great.

I miss the days when software basically did what it was told (by the user, not the author) and didn't spam you with adverts (also known as "recommendations" now), smarmy cutesy messages, or otherwise get in your way of doing things.

Browsers are probably one of the worst offenders. Edge is not far from Chrome, and although Firefox is probably the sanest, it also has a disturbingly small marketshare and seems to be going down the same path.

When I use "modern" software, I don't feel like a user; I feel like I'm being used.

> and didn't spam you with adverts (also known as "recommendations" now), smarmy cutesy messages

And frame every opt-out choice as "YES I LOVE THIS AND WANT IT TURNED ON FOREVER AND EVER AND NEVER SHOW ME THIS PROMPT EVER AGAIN" versus "sigh fine I guess I don't want it FOR NOW but please make certain to ask me about it nine more times a day for the rest of infinity."

Even the "good" apps like Signal do this.

"Sync your contacts?"

Not now.

"OK we'll ask again later."

Would you like to take a moment to register me?

Seeing this from Charles Petzold is incredible, and I share his anger at the the adware-ification of the Windows platform.

Agreed- Crazy that this came from him. In the last 2-3 months Ive noticed a few pretty annoying things happening with my MS account- First the weather toolbar was added to my system tray and it looked very much like one of those spam toolbars that have plagued Windows ad/malware. Next I started getting memories from OneDrive. I use my 1 drive for dev backup and as such I get an email from MS with a bunch of icon images as a memory.

> Next I started getting memories from OneDrive. I use my 1 drive for dev backup and as such I get an email from MS with a bunch of icon images as a memory.

I'm sorry, but that sounds hilarious.

"Your memories on OneDrive: Remember this bug from 4 years ago?"

Although, they should add that feature on GitHub. (No I'm not serious, Mr/Ms. GitHub PM!)

I got the same weather toolbar. I cant seem to get rid of it.

I dont even know what weather its picking up or how to change it

Its very frustrating

Right click on it (or some other blank space in the taskbar), "News and interests" -> "Turn off"

Total garbage.


Yeah. When I saw the link title I was wondering what half-baked clout chasing blogger was trying to stir the shit for clicks.

When I saw it was Petzold, I was just flat out shocked. This is the guy when it comes to developing for Windows. He is deep in the Microsoft ecosystem. For him to come out this strongly against a product means it's probably worse than even that.

I’d understand the anger way more if you couldn't just turn the offending feature off.

The anger stems from the exhaustion of having to opt out of yet another decision a megacorporation has unilaterally made to explicitly manipulate, correct, or badger you about your personal behaviors.

"Just turn it off" until the next update "helpfully" turns it back on for you "to improve your experience."

Or when they add in the next "helpful" feature. Then you can turn that one off too.

"We strive to make the best OS possible." vs. "Install Candy Crush! Free lootbox if you install now!" (Not genuine quotes).

What a joke of a company...

How many offending features do you think is too many to reasonably expect people to have to turn off?

By dropping windows 20 years ago? Yup.

Charles Petzold is a God amongst programmers. His "Programming Windows 3.1" book was the foundation of my company. Still going strong twenty-five years later.

I loathe MS Edge. In spite of explicitly setting my default file associations to my preferred applications, every other day Windows insists on resetting PDF, JPG etc. to Edge. Va te faire foutre.

> In spite of explicitly setting my default file associations to my preferred applications

And getting griped at by Windows for doing it, too.

"Oh won't you pleeeeeeease consider using the Strongest, Securest, Bestest, Most Wonderfulest Browser Out There, the amazing Microsoft Edge instead of whatever piece of shit blob of code you downloaded from the very untrustworthy dark Interweb?!?"

No, Windows browser team, I want to use Firefox and just like Google pushing their browser on their platform I resent you pushing yours.

The funny thing is that this may actually be true

>Strongest, Securest, Bestest,

Strongest because it's Chromium

"Securest" once they disable JIT

LOL this reminds me of IE on Windows Server. In order to keep your server secure, they put IE in "Enhanced Security Configuration" mode which breaks the entire web. It cracks me up that the only way IE is secure, is when it's useless. It's basically an admission that IE was not secure enough to run in default mode, when it's only going to be used on a server by someone experienced enough with tech to set up a server. But those regular desktop pelbs, you all can just have insecure IE.

To their credit, the enhanced security configuration does turn off JS and reduces other attack surface significantly. Also, IE has a very useful black/whitelisting feature called Internet Zones (which Edge removed, not surprisingly) so you can allow those features on sites you really do trust.

"breaks the entire web" is really an exaggeration from the Google-propaganda-pushers. You don't all the extra crap like JS when you're just looking at static pages. A lot of sites are fine without. This site doesn't need JS either.

Edge lost its value proposition after becoming just another Chromium shell wannabe. Original, native Edge used to have a great epub reader and had less resource consumption.

This a work computer or a personal one?

My work computer resets my preferences after each reboot (which I only do when system updates come down). Otherwise, it sticks. Personal computer keeps my defaults.

It's both work and personal (Windows 10). I run my own small business. I don't have a "corporate policy".

I was under the impression that Windows somehow challenges apps by performing some type of test, and resets the file associations "for the user's safety" if the apps don't respond appropriately.

May want to look into it with support or something, this isn’t normal behavior. It should retain your defaults (it does on the Windows machines and Windows VMs I’ve made or worked on. My work laptop being the only one that doesn’t and that’s a corporate thing).

Windows has just become completely invasive and has been going down that path for a long time. I use Linux at home but help seniors and others in town with tech stuff. The problems they're running into aren't even simple problems, they're manufactured problems by the Office suite and Windows adding confusing and unneeded features like this. For that population in particular that stuff seems so predatory.

So, like, stop using Edge. Firefox doesn't do this crap! At some point, it's the fault of the person choosing the tool that's known to be made by an actor so bad they conceived Windows 10.

Sadly, even Firefox isn't perfect. Look at its new tab page and Pocket in particular. (I do agree that Firefox is way better than Edge or Chrome, though.)

Difference being that in Firefox you can set the preferences to not show those things once and if you get on a new device just sign into Sync and you're off to the races.

Contrast that to Microsofts constant badgering, reset preferences after every update (conveniently), etc etc.

Kinda. Firefox keeps changing things anyways and adds more stuff to turn off or modify. I used to routinely find myself helping out family members with getting their Firefox back to how it used to be, and it really did suck. Worst of all, they're now forcing Firefox Accounts down people's throats. Swapped to Librewolf some time ago and haven't looked back, but it's unfortunate that they soil their name like that.

I think Librewolf is a Firefox alternative that needs more exposure.

GNOME Web is worth considering, if you're using GNOME. It's now a very competent simple browser, similar to Safari on Mac OS a few years ago.

Firefox has been embedding ads in the interface since way before Edge started doing it.

>the biggest insult I’ve encountered on Windows since the days of Clippy

Really though? Haven't the OP paid any attention to the constant stream of annoyances since the Win 10 release? The handling of updates, the toggling user settings with updates, the advertisements on the lock screen, start menu, explorer toolbar etc, the annoyance of setting another default browser, the waking up during sleep to update, the system-wide mishmash of UX? This Edge thing is THE Microsoft way of doing things: you're a measly user, and you need to be told what to do and how, because the ones to know better are them and them only, you are only to make suggestions about what you'd like.

I think the author forgets that edge is not custom software written just for him. It is written for the masses. And masses like me like this feature. It has saved me a couple of hundred dollars since launch since I shop online and use Edge. Also if you are so upset, then just disable it -> Settings > Privacy > Save Time and Money

Do you think the author had an unreasonable expectation that a browser won’t suddenly start analyzing his buying habits and offer alternatives?

Is it analyzing buying habits or just the item he is looking at?

And can’t you just turn this off?

I don’t think this is the right question to ask. Browsers can push any number of malware or tracking and then exclaim “can’t you just turn it off?”. I understand that some users find this feature useful, I just completely disagree with how it was rolled out.

You're assuming this is malware or tracking. I don't think that assumption is warranted. And at least this unasked-for feature is ostensibly pro-user, unlike Firefox's user-hostile additions like the Mr. Robot nonsense.

How is it possible to show alternatives to the products you view without tracking those pages?

The trivial non-tracking implementation would be for edge to install the entire database of products and prices to your local device.

Whether that is practical or not depends on just how large the database is. But even if the database were to be too large, it'd still allow us to reduce the question to one of how to download the database incrementally to the device without leaking information, which is a solved problem. (E.g.the Safe Browsing algorithm.)

The trivial non-tracking implementation would be checking if the domain of a requested page matches a certain list of known e-commerce sites. If so, then on load, query the other known e-commerce sites through a proxy to see if there's a cheaper price. No tracking necessary.

That would be both highly non-trivial and non-private.

For the non-trivial part, the approach would be hell to scale to any significant number of e-commerce sites. You can't have the client connect to tens of thousands of sites on a page load. And how do you reliably find the matching product pages on the other sites? It's easy if you can crawl the sites, but extremely hard if you tried to do it with point lookups.

As for the privacy, who operates the proxy? Why is giving them both your IP address and a stream of all commercially interesting web pages you visit not a tracking concern?

People use Edge? I assumed that a majority of users do what I do on a fresh install, and download literally any browser that's not made by Microsoft, and set it as default.

Windows can be very pushy about resetting the default every now and then. One update a year or two ago opened a full-screen ad for an Edge tutorial that could only be skipped by going into the task manager and force closing the process, and even then unset the default browser and added an Edge icon to both the taskbar and desktop. I wouldn't be a surprised if a lot of people have been bulldozed into taking the path of least resistance.

You're talking Windows users. They already either know they're being tracked and don't care, or who don't know they're being tracked. Why would they care about a different browser?

Fair point. Guess I've been an outlier since the first time I sat down at a keyboard, never been happy with defaults.

If the browser doesn't work with your ethics of how a browser should operate, then it isn't the browser for you. That's okay. There are other options out there.

Remember that one HTTP header that's always attached to every request every browser makes? User-Agent. Ha ha. Those were the days, when browsers were acting in the interest of their users.

Nah I won't be disabling it because I have never even used edge in the first place. Doesn't change the fact that people are rightly pissed off by the fact that the masses are so downright stupid and dragging themselves and the rest of humanity toward destruction.

So malware is okay because you can turn it off? No.

Firefox and Mozilla got a lot more outrage for including Pocket, which was basically a slightly juiced up bookmarks or Read it Later functionality that nearly every other browser includes.

Again... how many times do we keep having to disable things? Maybe you should have to enable it.

Holy shit this makes the blood boil. Directing people away from an independent retailer to Walmart?

Would you have had a different reaction if the author was on Walmart and Edge surfaced a link to a cheaper product at an independent retailer?

Yes I think that is relevant. Mostly though it isn't about the specific recommendation, my beef is with the repurposing of what were formerly tools meant to be wielded by human intent into a conduit for big corp to implement its own schemes while ostensibly serving the user.

All most users care about is whats cheapest for them. Its kinda why Walmart exists like it does at the moment.

Directing to someone who has a lower price.

I don't for a moment trust Microsoft not to serve its own interest in its recommendations. Maybe its lowest price but only from a pool of approved vendors? Oh you have a lower price? But we don't know who you are, not safe to recommend you. etc etc.

Surprised, though?

This has actually been in Microsoft Edge for the last several months. The fact nobody noticed on Hacker News until now shows how many of us are using Edge...

It was in the original Edge as well.

I use the feature, beats the hell out of installing Honey and going to bing/google shopping which is just paid adverts vs catalogs they used to do...

> The assumption that I need help buying a book is the biggest insult...

Insult is too strong a word. Like many here, I think something like this should be opt-in. But I also think the same about "smart recommendations" that try to auto-complete a word I'm typing or add something to my calendar based on recent emails.

I dislike them all and want them all to be opt-in. I think it's predatory by design -- but why anyone would be "insulted" is beyond me.

Being insulted is indeed the right feeling if you still have a sense of personal agency left.

Although "biggest insult" is over the top, its part of a pattern of Microsoft providing annoying "help" that makes their software distracting and harder to use, and in aggregate really does insult the user.

Opening documents in some weird "reading mode", popping up that I can pick up where I left off every time I open a PowerPoint, adding captions to my photos I add to documents (and sending my confidential data to their servers so their ML can tell me that a chart I added is a picture of a chart), "looks like you're trying to write a resume", I'll denote my three points (a), (b), and ©, how would you rate our product, etc etc.

Some people may want this stuff, I want my computer to leave me alone and let me work. MS has a pattern of disrespect to the user that overall I agree is insulting.

I'm honestly not sure what is or isn't opt-in on Windows at this point. It frequently asks you after updates to enable a bunch of stuff, but I just say no to everything and hardly anything stands out to me.

It wouldn't surprise me if Windows asks about product suggestions or shopping enhancements(or something along those lines) at some point and that drives this functionality.

EDIT: I don't usually use Edge so I just tried this and I received the lower price notice but not as the author describes. I got a little notice on the right side of the address bar that collapsed about 3 seconds later into the tag icon. I had to click on that icon to get the popup with the shopping details.

I remember a startup that was planning to create browser extension that would add a sidebar to web sites where users could chat directly about the contents (like reddit or HN but inline, next to the page). The interesting thing was the lawyers told them that the minute they monetised it they were on shaky ground wrt copyright: they were effectively creating a "derivative work" by presenting it in a single interface, and making money in that setting from somebody else's content without their consent will always put you into dubious territory. If Google can get into trouble for merely posting a link to and a snippet to content with the honest intention of simply directing users to find content they are seeking, then MS must surely be able to get into trouble for this.

That’s a strange legal argument - articles are often discussed on monetized Websites, why would the discussion being in a sidebar versus separate tab master?

Hey Charles, thank you for your wonderful book. "Programming Windows 3.1". I read every page and it was a great kick start to becoming a working programmer. Not sure if I should mention, I ditched Windows for Linux when XP came out :)

This looks like a feature that's existed since last November: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/articles/introducing-...

I'm always a bit suprised to see a post complaining about Edge because, to me at least, its never about the most obvious problem (although it only occurs on first launch, so that might be a factor).

The first thing Edge does it plead its users the give it a chance, we know IE wasn't the browser of choice in the past but things are different now, and we at Microsoft are genuinely trying to make things better.

The second thing Edge does is put a massive banner in your face, demanding you hand over everything. All your data, right now, and until you accept this ransom (or go through and uncheck all the boxes), your not going anywhere.

Even chrome is more subtle about it. Its just the audacity of asking for trust and then immediately violating that trust, as if they can't possibly wait another moment without taking everything they can from you.

I think the bigger problem with this is that Edge doesn't present the content the retailer provided and the user requested; instead, it presents, unasked, what it hopes the user might prefer. The browser is not acting as a medium between the user and retailer, but is imposing on both. I'd have a lot less problem with a [whatever]bar button that you could click and see other offers for the same item. The former is frustrating and insulting; the latter is not: it's no longer an interruption if the user asks for the information instead of having the browser push it in their face.

I've noticed that when using dev tools in Edge I see pretty consistent hits to my services coming from a Microsoft ip address within 30 seconds. Chrome does not do this. It's a little off-putting.

The content of this short note is just a part of it - more telling is who wrote it.

Someone asked why ppl use edge. Here is my reason:

I use edge for work stuff

I keep chrome use for gmail and personal projects only. Very limited use cases

Ff for general browsing, on full privacy mode and js blocked. This breaks most work sites so i cant use ff for work.

Opera for slack and some saas access.

Also using vivaldi and brave for things like proton, banking websites, linkedin. Everything is contained.

Microsoft is in the affiliate link business now?

It's unclear whether this is a monetized feature. I can't get the feature to trigger to check if there's e.g. any affiliate codes. (Maybe it's US-only feature?). But my guess would be that at least to start with it is not monetized in any way.

As far as I can see, they surely are. The front page country-specific bookmarks in the Edge browser are with affiliate links, such as Booking.com, eBay, etc., and then after a few local suggestions.

Was surprised to see how bad the UX was when trying Edge on the Mac. They claim to be super privacy-focused, yet anyways I need to accept a cookie banner with many data partners to get access to the settings button.

Sent them bunch of feedback.

1. You are using a browser you didn't buy.

2. Microsoft is targeting the mass consumers who are price driven.

3. It is creepy they are monitoring your traffic and making suggestions.

4. Edge is standing on the shoulders of the chrome giants.

5. Screw Edge.

I'm not aware of a browser I can buy.

To be even more specific - a browser that I can buy and get a guarantee that they will not turn me into a product later, when they're offered lots of money to do so.

Sounds like a business opportunity! Does Mighty, the commercialized, virtualized Chromium distribution do this stuff?

mighty is selling something completely different with a whole other level of lock-in.

Edge comes with a paid OS, right? So in a sense, you did buy it.

Many Windows 10 users didn't pay for it. It was shoved down their throats against their will as an "important security update" to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

You can install on Linux and macOS.

And because it's from Microsoft, you're going to keep paying for it, over and over again!

Windows update? That's gonna cost you an hour. Update got botched? 2 hours, and all of your browser settings. Registry corrupted?!? 3 hours for backup and reinstall! Can't figure out how to change a setting, because the option used to be there, then disappeared in the last update? 1 hour searching SO, 1 hour crying.

I don’t know if that’s still the case as I haven’t used windows for 20 years, certainly sounds like windows 98.

However it’s your choice in this day and age to use windows.

I don't use it, as I don't like having a monkey on my back. I had the unfortunate experience of having to install it today after losing a long battle to get Fusion 360 running smoothly on Linux. I can say first hand that Windows has become so much more mediocre than I remember; everything about it screams "we cater to the average and mundane".

I'm more upset at the privacy/surveillance implications than the user-facing ad itself. It can't show me lower prices without sending my browsing data to Microsoft, right?

Edge is also, by default, showing coupon codes:


I'm sure it's pulling them from the normal sources for such things. It all makes me feel uneasy about using Edge, but I've got to imagine if my less technically inclined family members saw this, they'd welcome the feature as a way to save a few bucks.

Pretty sure Malwarebytes blocks all the nonsense, but I should probably test this. If anyone else has already tested it, let us know.

Incidentally, MalwareBytes is currently blocking the article for me:

> Website blocked due to a Trojan

> Your Malwarebytes Premium blocked this website because it may contain a Trojan.

> We strongly recommend you do not continue.

I'm not sure why, though apparently a similar block was supposed to be removed in October 2019: https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/252675-site-blocked-ww...

>I might prefer a retailer that focuses solely on books, or a retailer that is not a large chain. More generally, I might make a decision based on the company’s carbon footprint, or perhaps their reputation in paying fair wages, or....

Yeah, but not for the other people that are more "simple" if I can say it correctly, you are not the target demographic.

I've yet to see anyone mention that Edge seems to love sending you to search the second the URL you type in isn't exactly right. Chrome seems to try to get the URL to work, MS just sends you to Bing. Waiting to see it called anti-competitive.

Why would you ever even contemplate using edge as any self-respecting technologist?

You can go to settings, search for shopping, and turn off "Save time and money with Shopping in Microsoft Edge"

Couldn't get it to trigger for any Petzold books, which just makes me wonder what items it has in its database.

Few beers in. Is this MS putting ads into browser directly ? EDIT: Is this also means MS is analysing and process all your browser history / page visits ?

Features like this one (Save Time and Money) should be opt-in. I've never used Edge so I don't really know its inner workings... So, the browser should ask on first start (or after an update adds a feature) if you wish to use it.

As companies do, the dialog should have a button to select preferred defaults (sadly, most users will just click that) and a list of options like the cookie dialogs for advanced users with everything disabled.

Still, there are better alternatives out there like Vivaldi, ungoogled-chromium, Brave, etc.

Each alternative is not without it's own faults. Brave continuously tries to prompt and default peddle the same kind of things as being denounced here and Vivaldi is all kinds of slow and memory heavy due to the way the custom browser experience is implemented. Ungoogled Chromium is probably the best option for someone that puts this kind of stuff first but for the average user it is a nightmare out of the box (clears 1st party cookies on close, doesn't handle drm content out of the box, doesn't have a sync, requires manual extension install, has default settings that will break many sites in the name of privacy). Again good things for that crowd just not for most people.

Even Firefox is pushing stuff like pocket by default and that's an open source non profit browser from the old times!

We have been here already. What did you expect?

thanks, i hate it. haha.

people these days are highly sensitive?

I think it makes more sense in context. The author is quite well-known and used to work for Microsoft.

You should ask for a refund!

Turn off the feature?

By feature you mean what would have been called a malware once, the only difference is that instead of being a crap plugin installed by mistake in IE it is now pushed by microsoft itself?

At best this “feature” should be opt in.

The entire "Edge" browser is opt-in .... as long as you manage to ignore the repeated prompts to install it and set it as default that appear every 3 days....

Windows is opt-in

How exactly? He didn't even know the "feature" existed in the first place, how should he know how to turn it off?

I'm sure a man with Charles Petzolds intellect and computing experience can easily find the setting to disable the feature on the Privacy, search and service section of Edge's settings It took me less than 30 seconds to find it.

There is something deeply wrong that I even need to hunt down and disable some setting some marketing halfwit thought would be a nice idea to shove in my face.

If only there was some way to find information on the internet.

Ah, the classic "unwanted feature that you have to waste your time trolling the internet in hopes of finding an way to turn it off that wasn't changed in the last forced unwanted update"! I bill at $60 an hour, to whom do I send the invoice?

Yeah wait until that happens when using windows:

"Computing with Windows 11. Would you like to consider this book "1984"".

I can’t tell if the author is being sarcastic or 100% serious. This is such a silly thing to get so angry about that you dedicate a whole blog post to it. Just close the prompt and move on.

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