It was sneaky at Microsoft Edge.
Coming out of the technological fold of Google Chrome, the new Edge appeared last year to a fanfare of irritation.
Some Windows customers were annoyed that this was forced on them.
Some even thought it was clearly malware.
The researchers concluded that this was a purgatory of privacy concerns.
I downloaded it early enough and then was constantly hassled by Microsoft to download the new Edge. Which was an entirely new dimension of irritation.
Yet even though I stuck with Firefox as my primary browser, I included Edge in my browser directory. It turned out to be a quick, responsive, and quite cheerful addition.
Initially, this annoyed Google. When the lost ones signed into their Gmail accounts from Edge, Google sent them a helpful message telling them that Chrome was better. You know, fast, easy and secure. Supposedly.
As the months go by, things seem to calm down. Google and Microsoft have come to a rapprochement. Edge is now the second most popular browser – it’s helping to get down on all Windows users like Seattle’s manna.
Perhaps it was Edge’s rapid rise that finally made Apple scream in public.
Last week I opened Edge, only to have a big surprise. In the upper right corner of my MacBook Air, a message appeared. From Apple.
“TRY THE NEW SAFARI,” the headline screamed. The text added: “Fast, energy efficient and with a beautiful design.”
I gasped in wonder. I looked and then, naturally, I took a screenshot.
Notifications in the upper right corner of my screen are usually limited to statements of a pending update, or a nag about my last save. But never really sell.
I have never seen an Apple ad appear there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Apple instantly react to opening a rival’s product on my MacBook Air.
It’s not like every time I open Microsoft Word, Apple slaps me on the shoulder and aggressively suggests that I use Pages.
It’s not like every time I open an Excel spreadsheet, Apple complains that I should be using Numbers.
It is true that Apple has become more aggressive in pushing its various services. My iPhone sees calls to use Apple News and Apple TV +, for example.
Also, I have Safari on my laptop, but I don’t use it often. I find it a bit ugly, which is rare for an Apple product. He feels crushed at the top and unpleasant to the eye.
The beauty of the browser is in the eye of the MacBook beholder, I guess.
Still, Apple’s annoyance worked, in its own way. I opened Safari and found it looked exactly as I remembered it. Somehow it doesn’t do it for me.
I remain moved, however, that Apple thinks browsers are suddenly so important that they are going to harass users about using Safari.
What could be next? Apple tells me to use Pages or will it mess up my iPhone? Does Apple insist that I use Keynote instead of PowerPoint?
Or maybe even an Apple campaign that pokes fun at Microsoft Edge? Now that would truly be a new level of entertainment.