Microsoft is turning Internet Explorer into adware, sneaks ad-generator into IE

Microsoft has apparently bundled a Windows 10 ad-generator as part of a security update for Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

Microsoft has already been accused of pushing ads onto unsuspecting users via Windows Spotlight, but they've now taken things a step further with their latest Internet Explorer security update (KB 3139929). The update (KB 3146449) is bundled as part of a security update and inserts an ad-generator into Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. The purpose of the ad-generator is to create a banner ad for Windows 10 on IE's new tab page. This ad will only be shown to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users.

You might laugh it off thinking that IE is not that widely used anyway, but think again. Internet Explorer 11's market share currently stands at 23 per-cent globally.

While a banner ad by itself is quite a minor issue, the fact that Microsoft is hiding the update inside a security update is very worrying. You can't get rid of the ad-generator without getting rid of the security update.

What's most worrying is that Microsoft seems to think that it's OK to insert an adware in the guise of a security update.

Windows 10 is the best version of Windows yet and you should upgrade to Windows 10 if you can, but this is definitely not the way to go about it. It would have been understandable if the ad-generator was bundled separately as an optional update (it's definitely not a recommended update), but sneaking it into a security update and obfuscating its purpose is no different from trying to surreptitiously insert malware into your PC. Just because Microsoft themselves are doing it doesn't make it right.

This is a very sneaky move on the part of Microsoft and only adds to the growing wave of discontent and distrust against Microsoft and isn't going to do much to further their reputation.

That said, 28 July is your last chance to upgrade to Windows 10 and if you have the option, please do. Windows 7 is a 7 year old OS that will be phased out soon. Mainstream support was discontinued in 2015 and extended support will be shut down by 2020.

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