Edge and ‘Rewards’ Nagware from Microsoft

Edge and 'Rewards' Nagware from MicrosoftSpring is here and with it, more Edge and ‘Rewards’ nagware from Microsoft. Windows Updates are now dropping flags and messages into the Settings app header intimating that your Windows install is broken. It’s not. You just made choices that Microsoft doesn’t like. By hook or by crook, they want you to un-make those choices and do what they want. The mask of the New Microsoft slips yet again.

I like Windows, I really do. Just as well, I live there most days. So why does Microsoft feel the need to undo all the good will of recent years with more nagging, gaslighting and duplicity?

The Settings app header now contains a couple of flags:

  • Web Browsing: Restore recommended
  • Rewards: Start earning

The first one wants you to ‘restore’ your version of Windows to use the Edge browser and Bing search. As if your choices were somehow an accident, a misjudgement or perhaps and act of sabotage. Anything but an act of free will. Or a rejection of Microsoft’s inferior software and services.

The second one wants you to sign up to a nebulous ‘rewards’ programme offering points in exchange for yet more personal data. The tag line ‘start earning’ suggests someone is going to give you money. Nope.

Unless you do exactly as asked, these notifications never go away. They cannot be disabled without resort to third party tools and registry hacks beyond the abilities of the average user.

I know the 90’s are back in fashion, but do we have to repeat Microsoft’s anti-trust shenanigans like it’s Internet Explorer all over again?

Yes, you can ignore them, but you can guarantee a huge number of users will click them assuming it’s some kind of security notification. There’s a name for this: malware. Too strong? How about social engineering? That prelude to criminal activity that Microsoft keeps warning us about… AJS

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