Health IS Technology Blog

Microsoft’s Edge Browser Shares Drop & Adware Is Added

“Critics characterized the initial release of Windows 10 as being rushed, citing the incomplete state of some of the operating system’s bundled software (such as the Edge web browser), as well as the stability of the operating system itself on launch,” (Wikipedia, Feb. 2016).

Using Microsoft's Windows 10 OS & Edge Browser

Using Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS & Edge Browser

Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS & Edge Browser

Microsoft’s latest OS (operating system) and web browser, Windows 10 and Edge, were released on July 29, 2015. The goal with this new software was to bridge the gap between desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones through a free, universally useful OS that maintained some of the most recognizably, desirable elements of the older Windows 7 and 8 platforms (e.g. user interface, start menu, etc.). As Microsoft stated, their mission has been to “Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Our Strategy: Build best-in-class platforms and productivity services for a mobile-first, cloud-first world,” (Microsoft, Feb. 2016).

Following a series of international campaigns, including television commercials in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, the software was made available to and adopted by millions of private individual and professional users across the globe.


Edge, Microsoft’s Latest Browser

Microsoft's Edge Browser Users

Microsoft’s Edge Browser Users

One of the most anticipated features included with the Windows 10 OS is a new browser, Microsoft Edge. Edge presented Microsoft with a unique opportunity to wow the world with a newer, better, faster and more user-friendly browser to replace not only the old IE (Internet Explorer) but modern alternatives such as, Safari, Chrome and Firefox. One significant problem with this plan is that Edge is only supported within Windows 10. In a marketplace that’s increasingly supportive of open-source, multi-platform programs, this is simply a no-go for many people. If for example, you still love your current Apple OS or simply elected not to upgrade to Windows 10, then Edge has never even been an option.

As of today, Edge has simply fallen short of expectations. In fact, “Microsoft’s Edge browser is in trouble. That’s a finish drawn from information published Friday by a U.S. analytics company, that portrayed a plummeting user share — a dimension of singular visitors to websites, and one of a few proxies for real-world adoption,” (Tech News, Feb. 2016). Both in the US and abroad, Edge is faring poorly, likely due to the serious lack of support for the many different OS systems already available and utilized in the market. As a result, Microsoft’s Edge browser appears to be a sinking ship. Although in it’s defense, it’s not exactly the one and only component of Windows 10 that’s making headlines.


Unpopular Features: Adware

Windows 10 Introduces Unpopular Adware

Windows 10 Introduces Unpopular Adware

What seemed to be an excellent upgrade (Windows 10) from the mostly reliable tech giant has begun to receive a surprising amount of push-back from users, who have begun to discover a number of other undesirable features, beyond the Edge web browser, that were included with their downloads. Of particular note, is a great deal of adware. Note that adware (also known as a form of malware) is any software or packaged program that automatically renders ads, either on-screen or elsewhere in the user interface. This ranges from relatively small inconveniences like, having users pay a fee to remove ads from traditional PC games like Solitaire to larger issues. For example, the recent addition of a new feature, called Windows Spotlight. If you elected to upgrade to 10 by now you’ve probably seen “An advertisement appearing on your desktop or laptop’s lock screen. Some Windows 10 users have reported seeing ads for Rise of the Tomb Raider with links to the Windows Store from which users can purchase the video game. This is how Microsoft has chosen to generate revenue after offering the free Windows 10 download to its users: Monetize the Lock Screen,” (The Hacker News, Feb. 2016).

Furthermore, Windows 10 has received criticism for greatly reducing the degree of control users can exert in the new OS by eliminating the concept of user consent, installing all updates automatically and only making exceptions to this rule for their paid, Pro version. These approaches have been deemed unacceptable among much of Microsoft’s user base.


Microsoft Users Speak-Up: The Final Ruling

Despite the low adoption rates for Edge and the unpopular adware included in the Windows 10 bundle, Microsoft’s latest OS has still received plenty of praise for its attempt to synchronize the phone and tablet to desktop experience. If you take a step back from the total body of commentary surrounding 10, you’ll find a rather mixed bag of opinions:


  • “Critics characterized the initial release of Windows 10 as being rushed, citing the incomplete state of some of the operating system’s bundled software (such as the Edge web browser), as well as the stability of the operating system itself on launch,”  (Wikipedia, Feb. 2016).
  • “The key idea behind Windows 10 is sound: that it should be available on as many devices as possible. Windows 10 will be a success,” (Tech Radar, Feb. 2016).
  • “The concept of the operating system is a great deal better than all of its predecessors. It can ably span a range of form factors and designs, and it can be comfortable and effective on all of them. That said, I’m more conflicted about Windows 10 than I have been about any previous version of Windows. In its current form, the operating system doesn’t feel quite finished,” (ARS Technica, July 2015).


So for users everywhere, Windows 10 is a lot like the very personal experience of attending an opera for the first time. You’ll either love it or you’ll hate it but you certainly won’t forget the overall experience, anytime soon. Ultimately, the real verdict that matters is your own.

Happy computing!

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