Image: Microsoft

Microsoft pissed a lot of people off when it decided to make the process of setting default apps in Windows 11 absurdly complex, forcing users who wanted to do something as simple as switching to a third-party browser to go through multiple file types and protocols (e.g., .HTML, HTTP) before being able to switch away from Edge. Luckily, the company came to its senses last week by releasing an optional cumulative update that lets Windows 11 users set their preferred browser with just a single click, but competitors don’t think this is nearly enough and have taken the opportunity to call out Microsoft again for what they believe are unfair business practices.

“While they have made an attempt, the fact that it has been done the way it has leads to the assumption that it is only being done to avoid being prosecuted for anticompetitive behavior, not to actually solve the underlying problem,” Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder and CEO of Vivaldi, told The Register.

“Microsoft should make it as easy for all users to use other browsers, as it is to use Edge, and stop abusing their power to push Edge onto users,” he continued. “They continue to try to make it harder to switch to and use other browsers. We look forward to the EU following up on this malpractice.”

Firefox maker Mozilla also expressed its thoughts, saying that “more can be done to respect default browser choice on Windows.”

“People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults and all operating systems should offer official developer support for default status,” the company added. “In practice, we’d like to also see progress on reducing the number of steps required to set a new browser as default, and on opening and making APIs available for apps to set default that other Microsoft applications use.”

Rivals aren’t convinced by Microsoft’s one-click default browser change (The Register)

Microsoft’s one-click default browser change under Windows 11 is being met with raised eyebrows from its browser rivals.

The app tweak was emitted in the most recent set of optional cumulative updates for Windows 11, replacing the painfully granular way in which users are required to switch from the Edge browser to something else.

Prior to the change, the need to click through all the protocols and file types that needed to be associated taxed even the most enthusiastic users. Most would likely not bother, and simply stick with the default.

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7 comments

  1. Boy oh boy....I just installed W11 for my daughter on a new machine.
    DAnm, an entire page of check offs to change from edge to chrome. It took like 15 minutes of fooling around to finally get the browser to work
    correctly. MS must really want edge to be the deal.
    I read an article the other day about just this.
    I can see why edge is gaining, it's a big PITA to switch so why not just say screw it and use edge.
  2. To be fair, I haven't tried 11 yet, but from what I'm getting from this story is that the main difference between 11 and 10 here, it sounds like, is that Windows 11 is actually telling you all the file types that Edge is tied to.

    Sure in Windows 10 you can change the default browser with a click or two but how many people ever went into the default apps/file types sections and saw how many Edge was still set to default app for? I have and there's a lot. Until you start installing other apps and changing them it's amazing how clicking on something while in another browser will open Edge.

    I agree it sucks but if anything it sounds like 11 at least puts in a process for users to deal with the insanity. With 10 you had to either just leave it, deal with it when something unexpectedly launched Edge, install something that gave an option to switch defaults, or manually scroll through all the file types. I do admit that I like how iOS and Android each have a menu that'll pop up to let you change things as needed but I've seen all three OSs throw things out the window when a major update comes through.

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