These ads or recommendations are for service such as Microsoft Start according to a new report from Windows Latest. For those unfamiliar, Microsoft Start is a rebranded MSN feed that provides users with “personalized trusted news, plus games, weather and more – all in one app”.
Apparently Microsoft has begun experimenting with showing more ads and recommendations that appear when a user opens the New Tab Page in its browser. While they can be distracting and somewhat annoying, these pop-ups can be easily dismissed by clicking on the “Maybe later” button.
At the same time, Microsoft appears to be using its new Assistance from Microsoft Edge feature to collect search results from users in an effort to improve its Bing search engine. While the data collected by the software giant isn't associated with users or their devices, not everyone wants to hand over their search data even if doing so does help improve their preferred search engine.
On the Microsoft Edge Canary Channel, the company has added a new option called “New Office Tab” to the browser's context menu that can be accessed by right-clicking on an open window. This new feature will allow users to open Word, PowerPoint and Excel directly in Edge without having to leave the browser.
It also appears that Microsoft's new Office integration won't be exclusive to Microsoft 365 subscribers and anyone with a Microsoft account will be able to take advantage of it. However, just like with “Read Aloud”, “Add page to Collections” and the other options in the context menu, users won't be able to disable it.
As Microsoft's new Office integration is currently being tested out in Edge Canary, it likely won't be long until this feature comes to the stable version of the company's browser.
Via Windows Latest