Since the release of the Edge web browser in 2015, Microsoft has been boasting about its security and performance in comparison to other competing browsers. That marketing strategy may be taking a step further to the point of discouraging users from downloading and installing third-party browsers on their Windows 10 PCs.
Microsoft has confirmed that it tested a new functionality designed to promote Edge to consumers who would try to install rival browsers on their Windows 10 machine. More to the point, the new feature seems to be meant to interrupt any attempt at installing a competing browser. The test was conducted with Insiders only, according to the company.
While the new feature was meant to be only part of an experiment, it reflects Microsoft's bold effort to boost adoption of its proprietary web browser, which still lags behind Firefox, Internet Explorer (IE), and Chrome three years since its launch. As of August 2018, Edge accounts for only 4.29% of the market, according to the latest browser market report by NetMarketShare. For added context, Chrome represents 62% of the market during the same period, followed by IE with 11.87% and Firefox with 10.79%.
The feature remains part of a preview release, which means it won't be available to a wider set of users until after a few months, provided Microsoft actually decides to roll it out by then. That move will largely depend on the Insiders' feedback, which doesn't seem to be favorable this early.