Microsoft made its Chromium-based Edge browser generally available on 15 January. The company announced that it plans to gradually roll out the browser to Windows 10 Home and Pro users over the course of a few months, with the first users receiving it being Windows Insiders via the Release Preview ring. However, users could always go and download the browser manually if they wished to.
However, for those that have not yet manually downloaded the browser, Microsoft seems to be serving an advertisement for Edge in the Search UI on Windows 10 (spotted by WindowsLatest). The banner reads “Get the new Microsoft Edge” and provides a download link. The positioning of the ad is identical to the COVID-19 information banner that began being served to users in Windows Search.
The Redmond giant has also begun serving banners to Outlook users on the web that log in from Chrome. The banner on the top is tailored depending on whether you have Edge installed or not, prompting users to download the browser if the browser is not installed. Similarly, the ads in the Search interface are not served to users that have the browser installed on their computers, even if it not set as the default.
It is interesting to see the company start showing ads for the browser via elements in the OS itself. With the Windows 10 May 2020 Update now out in the Release Preview ring and closer than ever to general availability, it is possible that the firm is starting to educate users of the availability of its offering and get more people to try it out before it officially replaces legacy Edge with the Chromium-based version. Thankfully, the ads in Search are not served if users already have the browser installed. The stable channel of Edge was updated to version 81 this month.