As the festive season approaches, Microsoft has decided to add "Buy Now, Pay Later" financing options to its Edge browser in the US at least.
The feature turned up in recent weeks, first in beta and canary versions before it was made available "by default" to all users of Microsoft Edge version 96.
The Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) option pops up at the browser level when you reach a checkout page on an e-commerce site, and permits users to split any purchase between $35 and $1,000 made via Edge into four instalments spread over six weeks.
This system is powered by Zip, previously Quadpay, which offers a Chrome extension for users who want to split their payments; it interest-free if you make the payments on time, although Zip charges $1 per instalment.
Microsoft has now bundled this platform into Edge.
Feedback could charitably be described as negative so far, as demonstrated by the tags assigned to the post on Microsoft's Tech Community site.
Comments (numbering 119 at time of writing) posted by visitors to the site can be pretty much summed up thusly:
This [is] a cheap and disgusting move from Microsoft and edge team to the browser users. You should be ashamed for pushing such crap to users. Listening to the users checkout flows, suggesting third party services. Bloating the browser. Seriously, be better and more responsible.
Despite a few positive reactions, the overwhelming response was negative.
Which is a shame. The Chromium-based Edge is actually a rather good browser. The Internet Explorer compatibility mode gives enterprises a path out, and the lack of Google was appealing to many.
But the shine was taken off somewhat by the inclusion of BNPL.
It’s deeply shocking this is built into the base Windows OS on billions of devices.— Kevin Beaumont (@GossiTheDog) November 30, 2021
I feel like I should start a GoFundMe for Microsoft, or teach them how to beg bounty, as clearly they need the money. https://t.co/TtZXAcZsGf
We asked Microsoft to comment on the reaction, and if BNPL is being rolled out widely. While it has yet to respond, its social media orifice did post the below overnight.
Welcome back. We’re sorry.— Microsoft (@Microsoft) November 29, 2021
So are we, Microsoft. So are we. ®
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