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  • Post published:01/12/2021
  • Post last modified:01/12/2021

It looks like I’m not the only one complaining about bloatware in Microsoft Edge: Microsoft’s customers are pushing back too.

Two weeks ago, I warned that Microsoft is bogging down Edge with unnecessary bloat, the most egregious and recent example being the inclusion of a terrible new feature called Buy now, pay later (BNPL). But now that Edge 96 is broadly available and the general public is finally seeing this feature, the complaints have started rolling in.

“Microsoft added Buy Now Pay Later into Edge (and so Windows 10 and 11 base OS), a thing which is known to be abused to harm people,” one customer tweeted. “The tags on the post on Microsoft’s website say it all. Keep speaking out.”

“I don’t want it,” one user wrote on Microsoft’s TechCommunity forums (first seen by Ars Technica). “I don’t even want the shopping and discovery features y’all have pushed out. These kinds of things should be separated into extensions. I am way more interested in a lightning-fast browser that uses minimal resources while being secure. Edge on Mac is getting heavier and heavier.”

Those comments neatly parrot what I said two weeks ago.

When the new, Chromium-based Microsoft Edge was first being developed, it made sense for Microsoft to move quickly to add new features. After all, it had a lot of catching up to do, not just to match what Chrome offered, but to add back many of the best features from legacy Edge. But in the past year or more, these updates haven’t slowed down. They’ve just gotten more superfluous. And as I warned previously, they’re bogging down Edge and making it bigger, slower, and potentially less secure.

Consider the list of new features that Microsoft is advertising in Edge 96. In addition to a new efficiency mode and improved password updating, two features I can’t imagine anyone would complain about, Edge 96 includes some real fluff. Like more Microsoft Reward integration, new themes, and an integrated (and horrible looking) skiing game. But users are also seeing ads to sign-up for Pluto TV in the browser, for some reason. And then that terrible BNPL feature.

Where does it stop?

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