In late July Microsoft finally started the roll out of Windows 10 and by all accounts it’s a big improvement on its disastrous predecessors Vista and Windows 8.
One aspect of Windows 10 that is causing some agitation is that when people upgrade from an earlier version of Windows their pre-set browser & search engine preferences get overridden. Windows 10 makes the default web browser Edge (Microsoft’s new browser that replaces the dog Internet Explorer) and the default search engine is set to Bing. This is upsetting many people who have configured other browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, as their bowser of choice and similarly if they’ve chosen a search engine other than Bing (read Google).
Why should you care?
It isn’t surprising that Microsoft is favouring its own products, and some would argue, not unreasonable. But the fact they’ve made changing these default settings in Windows 10 much harder & less obvious than in earlier versions of Windows is the big issue for many. Tech savvy users will be able to switch their preference back, but for many Windows users it will be too difficult to bother. As a result, you may see over the coming months an increase in the number of search visits to your website from Bing at the expense of Google.
Given there are reportedly up to 1.5 billion Windows users this could prove costly to Google. Google aren’t talking this lying down and have updated their help pages to show users how to make Google their preferred search engine with Microsoft Edge.
So far we’ve not noticed any appreciable jumps in Bing traffic for client sites, but it’s early days.
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Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting. Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations. Outside of work, his interests beyond his family are running, snowsports, diving and fishing (badly).