Back in August, Microsoft announced that some Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel would start seeing something new in the header of the Windows 10 Settings app. In addition to the existing shortcuts to OneDrive, Windows Update, and Microsoft Rewards, Microsoft has started experimenting with a new Web browsing section in the Settings header, though we believe that it has yet to reach all Insiders in the Dev channel.
While new features can come and go in the latest Insider builds, it appears that some non-Insiders are also starting to see this new Web Browsing section in the Settings app header. Alex, a tipster from France saw it on his Surface Pro tablet on the production ring and sent us some screenshots.
You can see the new Web Browsing shortcut in the top right corner of the header, and clicking on it will open a pop up inviting you to use Microsoft’s recommended settings: Those are to use Microsoft Edge as your default browser, as well as Bing as your default search engine. If that’s already the case on your PC, you’ll get a different pop up explaining that your PC is currently using Microsoft’s recommended web browsing settings.
This experiment will likely be seen as another “ad” for Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser on Windows 10, which the company has been pushing to all users to replace the legacy Edge that shipped with Windows 10. It’s not clear if many non-Insiders are currently seeing this new Web Browsing section in the Settings app header, and we currently don’t have it on our PCs. The presence of a shortcut to Microsoft Rewards in that same header also seems to be quite random.
Keep in mind that this new Web browsing shortcut in the Settings app remains an experiment, and it may not roll out to all Windows 10 users. Microsoft may have very good reasons to promote its new Edge browser on Windows 10, which is a pretty great browser overall, but there’s a fine line between helping users browse the web more securely, and making these same users feel like their PCs are becoming advertising spaces for Microsoft’s services.