It has been sneaky, it has Microsoft Edge.
Having emerged from Google’s Chromium tech bosom, the new Edge appeared last year with a fanfare of irritation.
Some Windows clients were annoyed that it was being imposed on them.
Some even believed that it was simply malware.
Investigators concluded that it was a purgatory of privacy concerns.
I downloaded it pretty early and then I was constantly bothered by Microsoft to, well, download the new Edge. What was a whole new dimension of irritation.
Still, even though I’ve stuck to Firefox as my primary browser, I’ve included Edge in my browser’s repertoire. It has proven to be a quick, responsive, and quite joyous addition.
Initially, this bothered Google. When the wrong ones logged into their Gmail accounts from Edge, Google sent them a helpful message telling them that Chrome was better. You know, fast, simple and safe. Supposedly.
As the months passed, things seemed to calm down. Google and Microsoft reached a rapprochement. Edge is now the second most popular browser; it helps that it descends on all windows users like manna from Seattle.
Perhaps it’s Edge’s rapid rise that has finally made Apple scream in public.
Last week, I opened Edge, only to get 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 beautifully designed.”
I gasped in amazement. I looked at it and then naturally took a screenshot.
The notifications in the upper right corner of my screen are generally limited to statements of a pending update or a complaint about my latest backup. But never really selling.
I’ve never seen an Apple ad appear there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Apple react instantly when opening a rival product on my MacBook Air.
It’s not like, every time I open Microsoft Word, Apple taps 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 it should be using Numbers.
It is true that Apple has become more aggressive in pushing its various services. My iPhone sees reasons 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. It feels squished on top and unpleasant to look at.
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 that it looked exactly how I remembered it. Somehow it just doesn’t do it for me.
However, I remain shocked that Apple thinks that browsers are suddenly so important that they will annoy users about using Safari.
What could be next? Does Apple tell me to use Pages or will it crash my iPhone? Does Apple insist I use Keynote instead of PowerPoint?
Or maybe even an Apple campaign poking fun at Microsoft Edge? That would really be a new level of entertainment.