Microsoft has re-released an update that promotes Bing.com to those using Google or another search engine in Google Chrome on Windows 11 and Windows 10.
The company continues to face backlash from users annoyed by annoying pop-ups appearing in Windows 11, but it shows no signs of improvement.
Last week, we mentioned that Edge was showing ChromeSetup as a harmful file and advised users to continue using Edge through large pop-ups.
In its latest push to promote Bing and Bing Chat AI, Microsoft is testing a new pop-up window on the bottom right of the desktop above all apps and games.
The popup even appears during game sessions. Some users they said that they saw the popup when playing a game in full screen.
This is especially interesting as full-screen games automatically disable all notifications in the operating system. So Microsoft seems to be allowing its Bing pop-ups to override Windows 11 settings. So some people see the notifications even while playing games, or watching videos and streaming.
The “Change your default search engine to Microsoft Bing in Chrome” pop-up says: “Earn Microsoft Rewards points when you search. Try the new Bing, your search engine with artificial intelligence. Install the Bing service to improve your search experience.”
The alert is reportedly triggered by a file located in the path C:\Windows\Temp\MUBSTemp\BGAUpsell.EXE, and is related to Microsoft Bing Service 2.0, an update for Windows 11 and 10 to “improve” the experience with the Bing. This file is probably also used by Windows Search and other features where Bing is integrated.
The BGAUpsell.exe file is also used to display notifications related to Microsoft Bing or Edge in Windows 11.
A quick analysis of the BGAUpsell.exe file revealed a feature called “IsEdgeUsedInLast48Hours”, which appears to check when Microsoft Edge was last used. So notifications are automatically activated if Edge has not been used in the last 48 hours.
In addition, Microsoft can detect whether Google or another search engine is being used in Chrome, and if so, the pop-up appears again.
Although Microsoft claims to give users full control over the browsers they use in Windows 11, users are very often frustrated by these pop-ups, which can also be taken as an invasion of privacy for aggressively promoting Bing and of Edge.