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  1. Google strikes back: browser wars heat up as Chrome ads target Microsoft Edge users Anything Edge can do, Chrome can do better… (Image credit: Shutterstock) In a galaxy very, very close to home – this exact one, in fact – Microsoft and Google are taking serious aim at each other’s respective user bases in the browser wars, with the latter introducing yet more adverts to try to persuade Edge fans to join the Chrome side (although Microsoft is equally guilty of being engaged in very similar tactics). Google’s latest effort to promote Chrome at the expense of Microsoft Edge involves embedding an advert in Gmail security alert messages, which are sent when a new login has been made. In other words, if you sign in to your Google account on a new device, you get an email through to alert you of that activity, just to check that you have indeed logged in (and that it’s not someone else fraudulently accessing your account from their device). When that sign-in comes from a Microsoft Edge user on Windows 10, Google has sneakily placed an advert in the email alert trying to persuade the user that they should be browsing with Chrome instead. As spotted by Windows Latest, a Reddit user posted a grab of the ad, which says: “Make the most out of Windows 10 with the Chrome browser. Chrome is a fast, simple and secure browser, built for the modern web.” This is not a new tactic from Google, which has previously pushed similar ads on Edge users via its various online services and products, including G Suite, Google Drive, YouTube and its search engine, among others. One-big-advert-Drive Microsoft is similarly guilty, as we saw earlier today, of this kind of aggressive and targeted promotional activity, most recently with adverts in OneDrive aiming to persuade Chrome (and Firefox) users to migrate over to the new Edge. Previous to that, Microsoft has pushed Edge adverts via its Outlook.com webmail service, and ads have appeared in the search bar in Windows 10 as well as the Start menu (the latter aimed to persuade Firefox users to switch to Edge). It’s a case of both being as bad as each other, really, when it comes to pestering users. But given how dominant Chrome is in the browser world, Microsoft could perhaps take this as a compliment. It’s Edge with all the ground to make up, after all – a huge gulf of it, in fact – and clearly Google perceives some threat and certainly isn’t resting on its web laurels. Google strikes back: browser wars heat up as Chrome ads target Microsoft Edge users
  2. By Kate O'Flaherty Microsoft Edge has been busy launching a barrage of new features over the last few months as it looks to beat Chrome in the browser wars. This momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing, because Edge has just launched a set of stellar new features that could be especially attractive to business users as the work from home trend continues. First up is an update to the PDF experience, with the ability to add notes to your PDFs, which is due to launch next month. This also includes a functionality that allows users to navigate through large PDF files via new interactive tables of content. At the same time, it’s now going to be possible to search for work files directly inside the Edge browser directly from the address bar. To use this you need Microsoft Search configured, then type “work” and press the Tab key to search your company’s network for your work files. Another work-related Microsoft Edge update is also about to launch to let IT admins manage specific work related apps on user devices as well as the browsing users do from their Work Profile in Edge. Edge integration with other Microsoft products Integration with other Microsoft products is a key factor as the IT giant looks to entice more business users to use the updated Edge browser. Edge now supports native policies for Microsoft Endpoint Data Loss Prevention, which are used to find and protect sensitive items across Microsoft 365 services, Microsoft said in a blog highlighting the firm’s security credentials. Another soon to launch feature of note highlighted by Bleeping Computer is Sleeping Tabs, which Microsoft says can improve memory usage by up to 26%. It can also reduce CPU usage by 29% potentially resulting in battery savings. Other recent Microsoft Edge updates include a feature called “Web Capture” which allows you to take a screenshot of a webpage—in full or cropped—and copy it to the clipboard or preview it. The browser is also adding security features such as alerts for the Edge password monitor if a compromised password is detected. Microsoft Edge 85 targeted business users working from home with the ability to send your Edge collections to One Note as well as Word and Excel and the option to synchronize browser favorites and settings between Active Directory profiles within your own environment without the need for cloud sync. Microsoft Edge: A valid Chrome alternative? These features have been pretty popular, but not everyone is a fan—Microsoft’s decision to bring its Edge browser to all Windows users has put some people off. Even so, Microsoft Edge is doing well, even reaching the number two position in the browser market behind Google Chrome. Like Chrome, Edge is based on the Chromium browser engine, which means there are a lot of the same features and functionalities, and it’s an easier swop for those business users looking to switch. Security and privacy are differentiating factors when working from home; it’s a major challenge to manage a remote workforce and ensure everyone stays secure. These new features should encourage any people already using Edge, and could entice more Chrome users to give Microsoft’s browser a try. Source
  3. Microsoft vs. Google: Why this browser war isn't about privacy At Microsoft's just-concluded Build developers conference, questions about privacy and trust took center stage. Yet despite multiple opportunities, the company took almost no jabs at its arch-rival Google. Why is Microsoft so hesitant to use privacy as a competitive weapon? Privacy is dead In a week when Microsoft and Google hold dueling developer conferences, it is tempting to look at every announcement and every product decision as a left jab or a right cross in a never-ending prizefight between the two tech giants. That's certainly the natural instinct when analyzing Microsoft's decision to make privacy a key part of its corporate message at its Build developers conference this week. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella set the tone by opening his Build 2019Day 1 vision keynote with the words "Privacy is a human right" and highlighting the engineering challenges of privacy. A few minutes later, another Microsoft executive showed off the new privacy controls that will arrive shortly in a preview release of the Chromium-based Edge. Later in the week, I attended two sessions exploring the ethical and privacy implications of facial recognition and AI. And yet I can't recall hearing Google mentioned by name in any of those discussions. In a "State of the browser" session, for example, the corporate vice president in charge of the Edge product team repeatedly referred to "other browser makers" without ever using the G-word. Chrome was, for that hour, just another anonymous Chromium-powered browser. Why this reluctance to call out the competition? I can think of a couple of reasons. The lion's share of the blame should go to Mark Penn, the political consultant who then-CEO Steve Ballmer hired in 2012 as a strategic consultant. Penn's claim to infamy is the disastrous "Don't get Scroogled" ad campaign, which applied the mudslinging techniques of American political campaigns to Microsoft's core competitive relationship with Google. By every indication, "Scroogled" was a complete failure and probably hurt Microsoft's reputation far more than it damaged Google's. It's to Satya Nadella's credit that he pushed Penn aside quickly after taking over the CEO's office. More important is that consumers don't particularly care about privacy except when it becomes a headline-grabbing scandal like those that have plagued Facebook. Google has managed to avoid those scandals, for the most part, even as it collects and monetizes enormous amounts of data about the people who use its services. Meanwhile, the corporate customers who keep the lights on at Microsoft care about privacy mostly when it exposes them to legal and compliance risks. That all might change someday, if Google finds itself unexpectedly caught up in a privacy scandal involving one of its key services. But for now, most of the negative attention focused on Google has to do with antitrust issues around its search results and the unfortunate impact of its YouTube recommendation algorithms. There's probably a "don't poke the bear" factor at work here, too. Google is the maintainer of the Chromium codebase, after all, and Microsoft's engineers are working hard to contribute to that code base. The last thing they need is a feud that spills over from the sales and marketing side into the engineering trenches. More important than any of those factors, though, is the actual browser war in which Microsoft finds itself fighting. In early 2018, I noted that Microsoft Edge was falling behind ... Internet Explorer. A year later, the situation has barely improved. In the rolling three-month traffic results from the US Government's Digital Analytics Program, as of early May 2019, 60% of all traffic from Windows 10 PCs comes from Google Chrome, with Edge users accounting for 16.6% and Internet Explorer at 15.5%. Mozilla Firefox has shrunk to just over 7% of all traffic on Windows 10 PCs, and all other browsers combined account for well under 1%. The situation gets much worse when you look at the substantial number of corporate PCs that still haven't upgraded to Windows 10. Most of those PCs are running Windows 7, where the only Microsoft browser, Internet Explorer, still commands an impressive and depressing 34% usage share; Chrome is at 56.7%, and Firefox usage is under 8.8%. With Microsoft extending support for Windows 7 by an additional three years from its official end date in January 2020, that challenge becomes even more important. Over the long term, Microsoft might peel some of Google's customers away by building a browser that's more compatible with Chrome. But for now, the much, much bigger opportunity is to give corporate customers a reason to ditch Internet Explorer. For that corporate sales pitch, forget privacy as an argument. Of the three key Edge features Microsoft showed off at Build, the new Internet Explorer mode, with the capability to run IE-based pages in a tab within Edge, is the one that will get corporate customers to sit up and take notice. All the Chromium-based browsers 14 Photos SEE FULL GALLERY Source
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