Microsoft Edge web browser is gradually receiving context menu integrations for MS Office online version. Additionally, Microsoft has started to aggressively push advertisements within the Chromium-based web browser.
Right after surpassing Mozilla Firefox for the number two spot, Microsoft has changed gears and tactics. The company is now testing ways to promote its products and services within the Edge web browser.
Microsoft testing ‘New Office Tab’ and Ads within Edge web browser:
Microsoft Edge and Mozilla have been fighting for market share. Google Chrome is the current market leader, but Edge recently took over Firefox.
— RealMi Central (@RealMiCentral) November 12, 2021
Edge is lightweight and offers better performance/features, especially for the general public. However, Microsoft has now started to experiment with advertisements and promotion of its own services within the web browser.
Microsoft is now reportedly testing Office integration to “help users” access Microsoft 365 apps directly from the Edge menu. Microsoft Edge’s right-click menu or context menu for the browser’s tabs will include a new option called “New Office Tab”.
— Windows Latest (@WindowsLatest) November 11, 2021
The new context menu (right-click on any Tab) option will allow users to open Microsoft Office online apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Incidentally, Microsoft isn’t limiting the new Office integration to Microsoft 365 subscribers.
Users will be able to access the same with a normal Microsoft account as well. The concerning aspect of the new feature is that users cannot switch off the same.
Microsoft now pushing ads and promotional messages about its own services within the browser:
In addition to Office integration, Microsoft has suddenly started to insert advertisements or recommendations within Microsoft Edge. Some Windows 10 and Windows 11 OS users who have recently updated the browser are reportedly seeing more alerts and ads for services.
Some of the most common promotional messages seem to be about Microsoft Start. The company recently rebranded MSN Feed to Microsoft Start. The feature resides in the Taskbar and offers quick information about weather, stocks, latest news, etc.
Microsoft Edge may soon let you open new Office documents through the context menu https://t.co/x0KCnqaukn
— Rod Falanga (@Doctor_Who) November 10, 2021
If that’s not enough, Microsoft seems to be using the browser’s new “Assistance from Microsoft Edge” feature to collect results from searches. The company clearly states it will be using the searches of users to improve its own Bing Search:
“Help us make search better for you. Microsoft will collect results from searches that you perform in the browser to improve Microsoft products and services. This data is never associated with you or your device.”