Microsoft is doing pretty well. Business is going well despite the pandemic, and the company has even managed to beat Amazon in obtaining a gigantic contract with the US government.
Despite everything, Redmond still has old habits that are struggling to shake off. And one of them is harassing Windows users, until they potentially throw their PCs off the top of a tower. Or, worse, until they buy a Mac.
The return of Bing
So in the last episode of Microsoft calls out to me through Windows, you will see a new pop-up appearing in the notification center. The message ? “Microsoft recommends different browser settings. Do you want to change them? “
Most users should then respond internally “I’ll be fine thanks, I’m perfectly happy with my settings, whatever they are, and I have a lot to do today, thank you”.
Microsoft, however, is not so easily discouraged. You can therefore read then, on the same notification “Save time and money with this research”. Then, “Fast and secure search results with Bing”.
And yes, Bing. Whoever is to Google what MySpace is to Facebook is still pushed by Redmond.
Already using Microsoft services? You will still receive these messages
This aggressive promotion by Bing seems to annoy Windows users quite a bit. Moreover, a Reddit thread collects lamentations like “You are not the first to have this inconvenience on Microsoft. Apparently there were thousands before you ”.
Perhaps the most poignant testimony is this: “The worst part is that I am having this problem while I am using Edge AND Bing is my default search engine (…) I think that the “problem” is that not all of my browsers have Bing as their default search engine. Which is ridiculous, as I never use Chrome or Firefox anyway. But after clicking on the pop-up, all of my browsers were opened … ridiculous ”.
I admit that I don’t know anyone who has Bing as the default search engine. I also admit that Microsoft continues to harass even those who already use certain Microsoft services.
I always get messages asking me to download the new Edge browser, probably because I manage my Hotmail account (a flawless engagement) on Firefox. This is particularly infuriating, as I already use Edge for some things and find it very good.
A bit of humour ?
One can, of course, understand why Microsoft continues to push Bing, even though Google’s hegemony is palpable. The question, however, is why to act in this way. Has Microsoft given up any effort of the imagination to choose a path that it knows full well will annoy its users?
Most distressing, arguably, is the lack of any attempt at charm or humor in these notifications. Are they all written by engineers? Or robots, maybe?
Imagine. If Redmond tried something like, “We know, Bing is a really stupid name.” But why not give it a try? You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised ”? Or maybe “we know you hate being told about Bing, but our bosses are forcing us to.” So please give Bing a try so we can live a more peaceful life here at Microsoft Central ”.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has chosen the route of aggressive, robotic hype a long time ago. By forcing the new Edge browser to Windows 7 users at the time, without preamble, the company even led some to believe that Edge was in fact malware.
Who knows, maybe Microsoft thinks that by pushing hard, its techniques will work. Or maybe the company doesn’t have a better idea for convincing their users to try Bing …