• Nick Thomas

New Edge, same old failings

Well, this was suppose to be short, and here we are at 3,113 characters =S TL;DR - New Microsoft Edge is coming, it still uses Bing, stay away from it. For the explanation, read on... Something that I'd heard a little while back was that Microsoft, irritated that its fledgling Microsoft Edge would not take flight, were going to ditch the in-house browser and use Chromium (Google Chrome) as it's base code for an entirely new version. This new version, as it stands, has a release date of January 15th.

So I did a little pottering around the interwebs today and the beta client is downloadable on Windows Vista, 7, 8.1, 10 and Unix systems (Mac and Linux). I've had it installed for about 10 minutes and I can point out the same huge failing that the previous Edge suffered from. Bing. Bing looks lovely, I'll give it that, but if you peruse the gallery below, you'll see its penchant for adverts that immediately try to divert the user from where they're intending to go. Say for instance you're looking for Malwarebytes AdwCleaner (a very decent, small and effective malware cleaner). Chrome (w/Google) If you type 'adwcleaner' into Google Chrome, the first result is the homepage for the application. Great. You can tell a customer to search, click and download. This makes my life fantastically smooth and stress free:

Edge (w/Bing) If you type 'adwcleaner' into Edge (w/bing), adwcleaner is the first result..... after the 5 advertised results with a VERY small 'Ad' next to them (a legal requirement, I'm sure...). Now, if you're the average joe-blogs and someone's told you to search for 'adwcleaner' and download it, you're more than likely going to click on one of those top 5 links which (at the time of this posting) are advertising the "top10 Best Free Adware Cleaner" or thereabouts.

OK, so now we're in a review site. And we see that TotalAV, ScanGuard and PCProtect are the top listed AV packages (it should be noted that ESET antivirus [what I use] and AdwCleaner both detect and remove TotalAV as an unwanted program, something they don't do for other AV packages). It's important to note that PCProtect, I had to disable ESET to get to their website, and Scanguard I've been removing from customers machines as malware for a long time now. These three applications are all developed by the same parent company Protected . Net.

Total AV has "free" proclaimed so often on its site so as to be worrying, then under more thorough scrutiny, you have to register for the free scan, which will eliminate malware, but anything further than that and you'll have to buy the premium version at $19* (*renews at $99 unless cancelled, it says in the fine print)

SO, back to the website: now when I look at the fine print of how those antivirus packages are sorted, I see that: "Top Featured positions are chosen by the webmaster, we receive advertising revenue from some antivirus providers and this impacts the order which the webmaster chooses"...

So... in our search for a malware program, Edge(Bing) has ushered us through one (almost concealed) advertisement into another (more elaborately obfuscated) advertisement, posing as a website, to encourage us to purchase a program of questionable quality that suckers us in with a cheap price, while winding up the renewal sucker punch for next year. At the end of the day, Edge is Edge. Go with Chrome.

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