Bing Pushes Microsoft’s Edge Browser When People Search For “Chrome” Or “Firefox”
Tactic of using search for self-promotion is common, but it could hurt Microsoft's case that Google shouldn't favor its own products in Google search.
Searching on Microsoft’s Bing search engine for the Firefox or Chrome browsers? Microsoft thinks you’d be better off using its own Edge browser and is altering its search results to say so.
VentureBeat spotted one aspect of this aimed at Windows 10 users who already use Edge but try to search on Bing for rival browsers. Microsoft is pushing Edge in other ways within Bing, as well.
“Microsoft Recommends Microsoft Edge”
Using Windows 10 and searching with Edge for Chrome, I got this message at the top of my search results:
Here’s a close-up of the banner, which comes above the first listing that is for Google’s Chrome browser:
The message says “Microsoft recommends Microsoft Edge for Windows 10” with a “Learn why” button. That button leads to a rather generic page that doesn’t really explain anything about why Edge is recommended over Chrome.
VentureBeat found the message disappeared when searching again for Chrome. That wasn’t the case for me. It appeared several times, though I eventually couldn’t get it to keep showing. I got a similar message when searching for Firefox:
A Different Push For Edge
This type of promotion isn’t restricted to searches within Microsoft Edge, however. When using Chrome on my Windows 10 computer, a search at Bing for Firefox brought up this:
You can see that above the snapshot information about Firefox along the right side of the results, there’s a box inserted that encourages people to try Microsoft Edge. I got a similar message when searching for Chrome on Bing when using either Chrome or Firefox:
After seeing these messages initially, I couldn’t get them to trigger again on my original Windows 10 computer or on another I tried.
Everyone Pushes Their Own Browsers
It’s not unusual for search engines to push their own products in search results. Earlier this year, we saw both Google and Yahoo pushing to get people to change their search defaults.
When it comes to the browser space, right now going to Google using Microsoft Edge generates this pop-up suggesting that people switch:
Unlike with Bing, that’s not search-specific. No matter what you search for, you’ll get this pop-up constantly trying to get you to switch unless you use the dismiss button. In my testing, this type of thing did not happen when using Firefox.
Both Bing and Yahoo do home page promotions to push Edge and Firefox, their respective preferred browsers:
As said, this type of behavior is nothing new in general. But since Microsoft is one of several companies accusing Google of favoring Google’s own products in Google search results, this doesn’t help their case and perhaps hurts it.
Unlike Google, Bing doesn’t have a market share large enough in the EU — or the US — to be vulnerable to anti-trust restrictions. Still, the fact that Microsoft is pushing its own product on its own search engine when people are searching for competitors is something Google almost certainly will use to defend itself.
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