New Windows Update

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The Sneaky New Windows Update

Forced Bing Default

Microsoft recently pushed out a Windows update designed to change your default search engine to Bing without permission. Upon installing the update, many users found that their default search provider had been switched from Google or another engine to Microsoft's own Bing. This sneaky tactic left some feeling their settings had been hijacked without consent. For those who prefer other search engines, this unwanted change added an extra step to switch back to their preferred default.

Privacy Concerns

Some analysts argue that Microsoft's aggressive tactics to push Bing threaten user privacy. By making Bing the default search for Windows users without permission, Microsoft gains access to people's search data and browsing history. While search data is valuable for improving services, many feel that gathering it without users' knowledge or consent crosses an ethical line. The update has led to discussions over how much control companies should have to change settings and access information on devices they manufacture.

Damage to User Trust

For a company that has worked to build trust through initiatives like enhanced transparency reports, the sneaky update seems a step backward. Actions like forced changes to default settings damage the relationship between a company and its customers by making people feel duped or taken advantage of. If Microsoft aims to strengthen connections with users, more transparent communication about updates and respect for individual preferences would go a long way. Ultimately, the choice of which search engine to use should be left up to device owners rather than mandated through covert means.

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How Microsoft Is Tricking You Into Using Bing

Forced Updates

Microsoft frequently releases updates for Windows that install new features without user consent or awareness. The latest update quietly made changes to your default search engine settings, switching the default from your preferred search engine to Bing. These forced updates demonstrate a lack of respect for user choice and control over their own devices.

Deceptive Design

The update was intentionally designed to mislead you into thinking your default search engine settings were unchanged. After the update, Bing appears nearly identical to your previous default search engine, from the logo and color scheme to the layout and features. This deceptive design was implemented solely to trick you into using Bing without realizing the switch had occurred.

Data Collection

Microsoft gains valuable data, including personal information, from every Bing search. By tricking you into using Bing, Microsoft is able to collect more of your personal data without your knowledge or consent. This data is used to target ads and further improve Bing to encourage even more use, creating a feedback loop that violates user privacy.

Restoring Your Settings

You do have options to avoid or undo Microsoft's tricks. You can disable automatic Windows updates, frequently check your default app and search engine settings, use a different browser, or switch to an alternative operating system like Linux or Chrome OS. While inconvenient, exercising control over your data and software is the only way to fully prevent unwanted changes to your digital experience. By making your preferences and values known, you send a message about the importance of user choice and privacy.

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Opting Out of Microsoft's Underhanded Tactics

To prevent Microsoft's misleading tactics to promote Bing, you will need to make some adjustments to your Windows settings.

Disable web search in Start menu

Navigate to "Start" > "Settings" > "Personalization" > "Start." Turn off the "Show web search results in Start" toggle switch. This will remove Bing web search results from appearing in your Start menu.

Change default search engine in Microsoft Edge

Open Microsoft Edge, select the three dots "..." button in the top right and choose "Settings and more." Select "View advanced settings." Under "Choose what to clear," click "Choose search engine." Select a different default search provider like Google, DuckDuckGo or Yahoo. This will change the default search engine in Microsoft Edge to your preferred choice instead of Bing.

Unpin Microsoft Edge from taskbar

Right-click the Microsoft Edge icon on your taskbar and select "Unpin from taskbar." This will remove the Microsoft Edge shortcut from your taskbar, making it less convenient to accidentally open the browser and have Bing as the default search engine. You can still open Microsoft Edge from the Start menu if needed.

Use a different default browser

Consider downloading an alternative browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Brave and setting it as your default browser instead of Microsoft Edge. These other browsers do not have Bing as the default search engine, allowing you to choose Google, DuckDuckGo or another search engine of your preference. Using a different default browser is the most effective method for avoiding Microsoft's tricky tactics to push Bing.

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