Once more, Microsoft is prompting Chrome users to explore Bing via pop-ups that cannot be blocked.

Reports from Windows Latest and The Verge on Friday revealed that Microsoft has been displaying Bing pop-up ads in Chrome on both Windows 10 and 11. The ad encourages Chrome users to switch to Bing for search, with bold lettering urging the change. It reads, “Chat with GPT-4 for free on Chrome! Get hundreds of daily chat turns with Bing AI.” Clicking “Yes” installs the “Bing Search” Chrome extension and sets Microsoft’s search engine as the default.

Upon clicking “Yes,” a Chrome pop-up appears, seeking confirmation for changing the browser’s default search engine. Chrome’s warning message states, “The ‘Microsoft Bing Search for Chrome’ extension changed search to use bing.com.” Beneath this, a Windows notification warns against changing back, emphasizing the benefits of sticking with Microsoft Bing.

This scenario illustrates a clash of pop-ups between companies vying for supremacy in AI and search. Users find themselves caught amidst this virtual shouting match as they navigate the web.

There appears to be no straightforward method to prevent the ad from appearing. Microsoft reportedly confirmed the authenticity of the pop-up, framing it as an opportunity for users to choose Bing as their default search engine. The company emphasized choice and stated that users have the option to dismiss the notification.

Windows Latest indicated that the advertisement was delivered via a “server-side update” and was not linked to a Windows update. Speculation suggests it may be connected to processes such as BCILauncher.EXE or BingChatInstaller.EXE, which Microsoft reportedly added to “some Windows systems” on March 13.

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