Windows 11’s pop-up nagging Chrome users to use Bing rolls out to more PCs

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More people on Windows 11 and Windows 10 will see the ChatGPT-powered Bing pop-up ad when using Google Chrome. Multiple people reached out to Windows Latest and confirmed seeing a pop-up encouraging them to use Bing.

We’re also seeing reports that Microsoft now shows the pop-up in multiple languages (like Spanish) based on your system settings, and it makes sense, as the company previously confirmed everyone will see the alert once.

Microsoft Bing pop-ad in Google Chrome
Bing pop-up ad in Google Chrome showing after some server-side update | Image Courtesy: WindowsLatest.com

Windows Latest first spotted the pop-up in the second week of March 2024. In our tests, we observed that the pop-up is being pushed to everyone via a server-side update, and the whole experience is powered by two files BCILauncher.EXE or BingChatInstaller.EXE, which can be found under c:windowstempmubstemp

Bing files in mutstemp folder
Bing pop-ups triggered by two .exe | Image Courtesy: WindowsLatest.com

One of our readers, Kasey, who lives in the United Kingdom, recently spotted the Bing pop-up on their Windows 11 PC and shared the following screenshot.

Bing pop-up in Windows 11
Bing pop-up in Windows 11

Similarly, more and more people are seeing the pop-up urging them to try Bing as their default search engine. The pop-up cites Bing Chat (now Copilot) and free access to GPT-4 to sell the search engine to the users.

Microsoft also highlights that it is possible to switch back to your previous search engine if you don’t like Bing.

If you accidentally click the “Yes” button to see what it does, you’ll be redirected to some Microsoft website that will install the “Bing Search for Chrome” extension, which reduces the limitations with Copilot or Bing Chat.

Bing search provider added to Google Chrome

When Microsoft tries to sneak in the extension that pushes more Bing stuff, Google shows a warning that default settings have been changed by the Bing extension, which leads to another pop-up by Microsoft urging you not to delete Bing.

The second pop-up reminds you to keep using Bing for free access to GPT 4, DALL-E 3, and other AI stuff.

Microsoft previously confirmed to Windows Latest that this is a one-time notification, and it will appear for everyone on Windows 11 (and Windows 10). You’ll also see localized versions of these pop-ups in your preferred language.

“This is a one-time notification giving people the choice to set Bing as their default search engine on Chrome. For those who choose to set Bing as their default search engine on Chrome, when signed in with their MSA they also get more chat turns in Copilot and chat history. We value providing our customers with choice, so there is an option to dismiss the notification,” Microsoft told Windows Latest in a statement.

In our tests, we observed that that pop-up is tied to a server-side update from Microsoft, which was not sneaked in through Windows Updates.

Bing adware gif

As much as I want Bing to succeed, I am still against these pop-up ads, which are just bad and do not work most of the time. It can be particularly annoying when they appear during gameplay.

At the same time, I think we might see fewer ads in Windows as it’s no longer headed by Microsoft Bing leadership.

Also, Bing is slowly becoming a better search engine than Google for many queries. It’s gaining more users, which might convince Microsoft to show fewer ads for Bing in the OS.

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