Hacker News Re-Imagined

Microsoft Edge’s new ‘Buy now, pay later’ feature is the definition of bloatware

  • 493 points
  • 10 hours ago

  • @JCWasmx86
  • Created a post
  • • 320 comments

Microsoft Edge’s new ‘Buy now, pay later’ feature is the definition of bloatware


@andy0x2a 10 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Microsoft needs to do everything they can to promote Edge in order to capture market share.

Edge and Microsoft have nowhere near the browser share needed to pull this behavior. And this differentiator is a detractor for me rather than a useful feature.

But then again this wasn't built for the end-users, this is clearly revenue base. Just another reason to not use Edge.

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@rigelbm 8 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

To be fair, if implemented correctly (read "as an opt-in"), that would have been a pretty useful feature. The browser already allows you to setup credit/debit card as payment options. Having an option to setup other payment providers sounds like a natural extension of that. The main issue is how they did it: as a forced feature screaming at your face, instead of something you have to setup yourself. On the flip side, I can see how difficult it would be discoverability of the feature if they just stashed it in a menu somewhere. Neither extreme is perfect. I would have erred on the side of not annoying most users.

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@tgsovlerkhgsel 2 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

> There are no interest fees, assuming you pay each installment on time.

Which means they almost certainly make their revenue on payday-loan style shafting if you miss a payment.

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@froggertoaster 10 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

I'd rather endure Microsoft's bloated browser than ever, as the author suggests, use the browser owned by the morally and ethically bankrupt Mozilla.

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@intricatedetail 5 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Please lobby your software provider to release Linux builds. I only use Windows because some software do not exist and don't work on Linux. If not for that I would have run Linux long time ago.

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@tw04 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

I think HN drastically underestimates how many average folks would actually enjoy having an easy to use interest free payment option. Not everyone lives in the valley and makes 6+ figures. With Christmas right around the corner I'm betting a ton of folks will welcome the option to spread their bills over 6 payments for free.

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@Pxtl 5 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

I'm putting together a new laptop for my very elderly father-in-law - he basically just wants it for card games and e-mail. He doesn't even web browse.

I was planning an S-mode windows laptop for security reasons - Windows Marketplace only.

But first I looked into it and was shocked that they've replaced Solitaire, Hearts, and Minesweeper with freemium products that are bloated with ads and have a monthly or yearly fee to get rid of the ads. And of course, how many ads have horrifying notices like "your computer is being hacked!!!!" ? Perfect for an elderly and forgetful luddite.

And because of the onerous signing to submit to the marketplace, even common open-source software isn't there.

This is a massive step back by Microsoft - he just wants his old Solitaire and Hearts and to play some Sudoku, but they killed those and replaced them with freemium subscription products and the rest of the Windows Marketplace is similar.

So this is tangentially-related to the article, but my point: very disappointed to see MS jumping on the modern business model for software.

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@BLKNSLVR 2 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Advertising payment processors is ok behaviour by Microsoft but attempting to make Windows actually respect the users default browser choice is "improper" behaviour by Mozilla[0][1].

Interesting mental gymnastics Microsoft.

[0]: https://www.theverge.com/2021/11/15/22782802/microsoft-block...

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29251210

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@devwastaken 8 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Apples market share is further increasing. The mismanagement of Microsoft is detrimental to the computing market. Someone needs to be grabbing control of Microsoft and giving it a singular vision. Fire those that undermine it. Less employees, Less marketing, more engineering. Heart disease will kill this company in the long term.

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@nunez 4 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Very telling of the financial state of the average American. Everyone is hawking interest-free monthly payments, usually through Klarna (which Microsoft Store partnered with, making this especially strange). Great tool if used responsibly, but given companies advertising increasingly expensive crap and how most Americans can't save $1,000, you know this will just increase the class of the permanently-indebted

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@tyleo 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

The fact that Edge lags behind in desktop browser share is absurd. Looking at some charts online it appears to have 1/5 the usage of Chrome. That’s crazy. 80% of people are finding, installing, and using Chrome when a default is provided by the OS.

On the other hand, the continuous own-goals like this leave me unsurprised. It’s like Microsoft wants to create a bad browser.

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@GekkePrutser 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

<facepalm>... :X

You had one job, Microsoft. To take Chrome and make it less privacy-invasive and more clean.

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@rkagerer 4 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Microsoft Edge’s Zip payments integration is already available in the Canary and Dev channels, and it will roll out to everyone in the stable release of Microsoft Edge 96

Edge 96 released to Stable channel two days ago.

My prediction is blowback to this quintessentially stupid product decision will result in it getting pulled within the next few weeks and the firing or transition to a different unit of whatever moron approved this PR disaster.

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@moonchrome 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Yeah I don't have an anti Microsoft sentiment like the loud posters in these threads and I'm actually interested in chrome alternatives for cross platform browser (chrome battery usage is abysmal) but this shit makes me permanently ignore Edge. Bundling 3rs party commercial extensions in the browser - no thanks.

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@ineptech 3 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Jesus Christ! Even for M$, this is beyond the pale - combining pseudo-monopoly power, dark UX patterns, and high-interest credit. What's next, will airlines start dropping adverts for payday loans when their flight path goes over a poor neighborhood?

It seems like we are in the "extending credit to broke people is so lucrative that regular non-finance companies are getting in on it" stage of the current bubble.

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@mrtweetyhack 1 hour

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Buy now, pay never

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@ahartmetz 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Bloatware is a far too benign term for this. The browser should treat financial transactions like the post office treats a letter - never mess with the contents, just move it where it needs to go. This is a major breach of trust. It pisses me off and I don't even use Edge (or Chrome, or Windows) unless I have to, which is rare.

Analog world analogy: Post office inserting advertisements for financing into sealed private letters.

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@ht85 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

"But this isn't unethical, there are no fees as long as people pay on time."

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@GordonS 8 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

What on Earth are they doing?!

The release a new Chromium-based browser, Edge - and it's well received, people actually like it as an alternative to Chrome. Sure, it has a very long way to go in terms of market share, but it's on a solid footing.

And now they seem determined to give it a bad name - I can imagine corporations not wanting software like this in their networks, and mandating Chrome instead...

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@e-clinton 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

It’s just a piece of software they’re trying to monetize. Not sure Microsoft would make more money if usage were higher without doing things like this. I agree that it’s annoying, I use and like the browser.

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@aaaaaaaaaaab 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Lol, nice to see the MS of the 90s is still living strong behind the facade!

inb4 "but they had pinky promised they've changed!"

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@havkom 8 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Typical supoptimization that is probably suggested by some management consultant that has been hired by some department by an incompetent manager that him/herself is struggling (due to incompetence).

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@vidanay 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

I've been on the precipice of dumping Edge based on their constant re-enabling of the shopping popups, this might be the shove from behind that makes me jump.

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@bagacrap 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

I don't use these services, but it's hard to see this as anything but a value judgement against "buy now pay later" schemes. If we set that aside, and (for the sake of argument) recognize this service as value-adding for many users, it does seem to be in line with the rest of that feature (the option hooks into Chromium's autofill/payments integration, so you'd usually see saved credit cards here).

In fact I don't really see what the difference is between this and a credit card (where you do pay later, after all, hence "credit"). Is it that it shows even before you've signed up for Zip? So it's equivalent to asking if you want to sign up for a new credit card. I guess that's somewhat annoying. And being unable to disable it is also annoying, but equivalent to the exact same schemes I see baked into the merchant site all over the web.

Does anyone know why Zip isn't already implemented as a credit card with delayed interest rates?

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@monsieurgaufre 4 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Not enough people seem aware that you can remove Edge using winget and be done with it.

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@2Gkashmiri 8 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

i use firefox. been using this since 2004 i think. never was i forced to "abandon" it, it worked for me. I can't say the same about how IE/Edge is handling stuff. Why? i get the whole "cooperation" with businesses and financial institutions who see this as "free real estate" but i am not sure how to take it. eh.

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@Causality1 8 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

I agree with everything the author said, except for If you don’t want a browser that encourages unnecessary purchases, I recommend Firefox which made me nearly piss myself laughing. Mozilla can't go a month without shilling some new garbage on the Update or New Tab screen.

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@sedatk 7 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Everybody treats this news like something out of thin air. Microsoft Edge has been "enhancing" e-commerce transactions for a while now: coupons, cashback, and price histograms. I actually like those features although their usefulness is mostly marginal. When Edge ensures me that I'm buying it at the lowest price, it's reassuring and welcome, but the coupon experience is 99% "we've tried all possible coupons and sorry, nothing worked". I don't even know what's up with the cashback thing.

Anyway, Edge has been integrating these features for a while, they've been welcomed or at least haven't been an issue. Now, they added another feature which seems like a minor extension to what's already there, and I can understand why the team didn't think it wasn't as big a deal as it was discussed here.

I like Edge, I think it's the only candidate that can surpass Chrome at some point, and I want the team to be positively responsive to the criticism here. Fingers crossed.

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@jetrink 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

The company had over 100B in revenue last year. By adding this sleazy anti-feature, Microsoft is sacrificing its reputation and the quality of a high-profile product for probably a few million? That's a few thousandths of one percent of their total revenue. I don't understand it.

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@pipeline_peak 7 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Not letting users uninstall Edge is the definition of bloat ware.

Imagine forcing the world to use your little chrome distro. It’s like they find reasons to make us hate them.

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@sergiotapia 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

These buy now pay later companies are going gangbusters. How do they all survive when they essentially do the same thing? Isn't it becoming a commodity? What's to stop Citi or any other traditional bank from adding this feature to their arsenal?

Like telehealth being relatively easy to spin up today with tools like Wheel and Twilio - are the margins in this here game the moves? Are these pay later companies _owned_ by incumbent banks and just rebrands?

Or is it just sign of the times in todays startup space?

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@zz865 8 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

I think this is dumb. But I also know the vast majority of people are very different to HN devs, and MS could make a lot of revenue with this.

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@freediver 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Microsoft Edge had a great start, great distribution potential, good product thinking and innovative features.

Then in a span of two days this plus https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2021/11/is-microsoft-...

Shooting yourself in the foot would be a correct characterization. Would be fun to see a video of the meeting when they decided this was a great idea.

It almost signals a change in leadership that took place at the Edge team few months back, and a new product direction that Microsoft may regret in the future.

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@indymike 7 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

This is just good old monopoly market capture. Edge is malware, don't support it.

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@Mikeb85 8 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

I was close to being convinced they weren't the M$ of old, but it turns out they are. Here's to another 10 years of never touching an MS product.

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@cube00 8 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

I felt the same about the new math solver[1] they've added. Sure it's useful but it doesn't belong in a web browser's base install, this is what extensions are for. Same with Zip pay, if you want to use it, you go and install the extension.

[1] https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2021/05/21/preview-micro...

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@Pasorrijer 9 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

If I'm not willing to pay for a browser, why should I be surprised when the free software tries to make money? Yeah, it's not ideal and I'll turn the feature off if it makes it public. But I'm choosing to use a free browser instead of paying for it.. So I can't blame a company for trying to monetize it.

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@TedShiller 5 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

That’s why there’s Apple

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@peanut_worm 3 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Wow I am shocked this is remotely legal. I don’t understand why the government isn’t doing something. They got in trouble for so much less for what they pulled in the 90s with IE.

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@addicted 8 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Why can’t these be addons?

And if they really want they can add some nag screens to get you to install the addon.

Making it part of the base install is nonsensical at best.

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@dreyfan 8 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

I don’t grasp the allure of Buy Now Pay Later. Isn’t that precisely what credit cards provide? Are they pushing more charges to the retailer and less interest charges to the consumer?

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@Ekaros 6 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Thinking of where possibly MS would get revenue streams from Windows it seems pretty clear they have to do something. Realistically how home users buy Windows for full retail price?

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@timwaagh 3 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

I'm guessing EU aren't going to like this. Microsoft might not be the primary browser vendor anymore but this still is similar to stuff they've already been sued for. Also I figure that such a focus on retail shopping might annoy their enterprise customers. Like what are their employees going to do all day. If you ask Microsoft it's spending their ssalary (and getting into debt),not doing their job.

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@TedShiller 5 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

People still use Windows? I thought that was a 90s thing

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@anonnyj 5 hours

Replying to @JCWasmx86 🎙

Buy Now Pay Later is yet another pink tax

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