Microsoft Edge Browser Update Causes User Revolt
Isadora Teich wrote this article
It’s no secret that, in many cases, users do not take kindly to the major changes that companies plan to roll out. Right now Microsoft Users are up in arms, but this is not the first time something like this has happened.
One great example of this is Meta’s Instagram For Kids Announcement.
This year, the company announced that it wanted to introduce an Instagram platform for kids. This was met with universal criticism, so much so that it appears Meta has abandoned the idea.
So, what exactly has Microsoft done and what do users have to say about it?
Let’s take a look.
Microsoft Wants To Incorporate Zip
Last month, Microsoft announced that it plans to place an app called Zip directly into its Edge browser. Zip used to be known as Quadpay, and is essentially a “buy now pay later” app that allows users to break purchases into installments.
In the first place, this is a somewhat controversial type of app. Often these apps are not transparent about things like how much they charge for late-payments and whether or not they report users to credit bureaus.
Many people are starting to get wise to the pitfalls of some of these apps, and Facebook communities have even sprung up of people trying to get their money back from Apps like Afterpay and Klarna. An Australian commenter even called them “A menace.” According to them:
They’ve avoided the regulations that apply to standard credit companies, instead arguing that they’re just a “disruptive” payment processor. To get people hooked, they offer exclusive sales (e.g. “Pay with FooPay and get 10% off your purchase!”). They also prevent merchants from passing on commission fees and transaction costs – something which credit card companies aren’t allowed to do.
The Complaints against Microsoft
There have been a wide range of responses, some more polite than others. According to one user:
I don’t want it. I don’t even want the shopping and discovery features y’all have pushed out. These kinds of things should be separated into extensions. I am way more interested in a lightning fast browser that uses minimal resources while being secure. Edge on Mac is getting heavier and heavier.
And according to Another reviewer:
This isn’t the way. Don’t ruin a great browser by taking these unnecessary cash grabs too far. Stop it before Edge becomes known for being adware trash.
Critics Cry Cash Grab
Critics are saying that this is a money grab, but one that has a lot of potential consequences and unanswered questions. In order to refute the cash grab accusations, Microsoft announced that it doesn’t collect a fee for linking users with loan providers.
However, that is quite vague. There are numerous ways the company could benefit from this without charging Zip a fee for every transaction. Users have no idea what those are.
On top of this, users don’t know if using Zip will give Microsoft more insight into their browsing and shopping habits. This is one powerful way that the Zip integration could benefit Microsoft that does not involve collecting a fee for every transaction.
Zip Specific Issues
For some detractors, the issue is the way that the app Zip functions. It doesn’t have the typical model that buy now pay later apps use. Some of these apps have interest rates per installment, and others do not. Zip has an entirely different approach.
When you use Zip, you pay in 4 installments. As long as these installments are made on time, you pay only a $1 fee per installment. This means that users pay $4 to split up their purchases into payments.
On the surface, this seems like a good deal, but it is not for all types of purchases. For example, if you make a large purchase, this $4 fee is likely way less than you would pay in interest using other apps or traditional credit. However, with Zip, you can only make purchases up to $1000.
The Zip minimum is $35, and here is where things get a little tricky. If you use Zip to buy something for $35 and pay $4 in fees, you would have an interest rate of more than 11% on a $35 purchase.
Part Of A Bigger Issue
If you Google this issue, you will come up with so many articles with titles like Gizmodo’s “Microsoft Keeps Making Its Edge Browser Worse For Some Reason.”
Many feel that since introducing Edge last year Microsoft has ruined the user experience with unnecessary additions and restrictions. Users say it feels bloated, and take issue with how hard Microsoft tries to not only push it on users, but seems to be trying to force them to use it by making it difficult to switch once you start using it.
Some are also concerned about the potential cybersecurity threats. Overloading the browser with different integrations stretches code and can leave holes. Microsoft has not stated how it will approach this yet.
According to a BBC report, the user-based tagging system has seen the accusations against Microsoft turned into tags on the company’s blog post. Now the post has tags like “poor leadership,” “garbage,” and an “embarrassment.”
Does Internet Outrage Actually Harm Corporations?
Right now, a lot of people online are insulting Microsoft. Almost every week, there seems to be a new corporate punching bag in the news cycle. Whether you think it’s deserved or not, there is always plenty of outrage to go around.
Does this outrage actually accomplish anything, however?
In general, not particularly. In the midst of the WallStreetBets fiasco, the stock and crypto trading app Robinhood came under fire for alleged stock market manipulation. During that time, people flocked to it anyway.
Recently, Meta was widely panned for rebranding from Facebook into Meta. This year, one of its own employees went to the government to try and prove that the company is harming people on a global scale.
This has hardly led to users jumping ship. As of 2021, almost 70% of Americans have a Facebook account still.
Will Microsoft ditch Zip in response to the backlash? Maybe, but maybe not.
It is important to realize that this situation is a little different. There are countless other browser options. If enough people get tired of Edge, they will choose another browser.
Outrage aside, if people don’t want to use Edge anymore, they don’t have to. This is what would really be a problem for Microsoft.
What do you think? Are you or were you a Microsoft Edge user? Comment below.