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Pop-up suggesting Bing in Chrome uses separate program from Windows

by Janes

The advertisement to use Bing that bothered Windows 10 and 11 users in recent days had the “origin” revealed. The notification does not “integrate” the operating systems, but is actually activated by a program created by Microsoft. The file that launches the notifications in the lower-right corner is called “BGAUSpell.exe”.

The program has the digital signature of Microsoft and is very reminiscent of adware, a malicious program that fills the user (and their patience) with advertisements. Just like adware, pop-ups asking the consumer to use Bing as the default search engine in Chrome bothered and appeared at inopportune times, such as even during games.

Reports about the advertisement have grown in recent years and is linked with the launch of Bing Chat (Microsoft’s search engine) for Google Chrome, a rival browser. In the various screenshots of the pop-up, you can see that the “notification” message asks users to change the default search engine in the Chrome browser – which is a breakthrough for Microsoft, which at other times asked to use Edge as the default browser.

Microsoft says advertisement came out “unexpectedly”
Caitlin Roulston, Microsoft’s communications director, said in a statement to The Verge that the behavior of the notifications was “unexpected.” Let’s not omit it: the company always pulls the “unexpected”, “accident” or “it wasn’t the plan” card when some controversy about ads on Windows (10 or 11) arises.

And of course, Google also uses notifications in Chrome to advertise its services. The difference is that Microsoft used something “integrated into the operating system” to advertise a service – going out of the pattern of making advertisements in the browser.

Roulston explained that notifications are on hold while Microsoft investigates the issue and “takes appropriate action” for the case.

Now the moment of self-experience: I did not get to receive this propaganda. I use Edge with Bing during work hours and Opera with Google outside of that time. By the way the program really only sends the notification if the consumer uses Chrome with Google default search engine.

An Ars Technica reader disclosed that they received a different notification than the one shown above: the pop-up was an advertisement for using Bing Chat in Chrome.

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