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Windows 10 Prompting Chrome Users to Switch to Edge

Sometimes, when your operating system nags you, it’s for a good reason. When Windows tells you that you need to update your antivirus software or activate a firewall, you should probably listen. However, when it tells you that you should stop using your preferred web browser, that may be a step too far. Windows 10 — the operating system, not the Edge browser itself — has apparently begun encouraging users to switch away from Chrome, warning them that it’s a drain on their laptop batteries.

The warning hasn’t been confirmed across a wide range of people yet, but the primary source is a reliable one. Rudy Huyn, an app developer who works with Windows devices, tweeted the message along a screenshot of the events. “Chrome is draining your battery faster,” the popup claimed. “Switch to Microsoft Edge for up to 36 percent more browsing time.”

First of all, credit where it’s due: There is indeed some evidence to suggest that Microsoft Edge is the most power-efficient Internet browser. In June, Microsoft released a time-lapse video, which showed four Surface Pro tablets running the same streaming video on different browsers. The Edge-powered Surface Pro lasted 7 hours and 22 minutes while the Chrome-powered model died after just 4 hours and 19 minutes. The Wall Street Journal also found that Edge lasted longer when streaming video.

While Microsoft Edge is indeed the preferred browser of Windows 10, historically, Microsoft hasn’t hassled users for switching. Edge will encourage users to switch if the program is open, as will Chrome or Firefox, or just about any other browser. Intruding on a user’s desktop, however, is perhaps a step too far. It was for Huyn, at least.

“When I pay for a car, I don’t want ads when I drive,” Huyn wrote in a follow-up tweet. “Same thing with my OS.”

At present, Huyn appears to be one of the few users reporting this issue, although he says he found it on a regular, non-beta version of Windows 10. Some Twitter users remain skeptical of Huyn’s finding. While that’s a fair attitude, Huyn is generally a pro-Microsoft developer and enthusiast. Making up a screen to knock Windows would be damaging to his reputation for no real reason.

For what it’s worth, I use Chrome on a Windows 10 laptop almost exclusively, and have never seen this message. Since Microsoft tends to roll out features on a moving basis, though, that’s not necessarily unexpected. Maybe the rest of us will see it soon, or maybe Microsoft will change course and pull the feature before it gets too widespread.

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