Mozilla and Vivaldi not appeased by Windows 11 default browser changes

midian182

Posts: 7,882   +81
Staff member
A hot potato: Microsoft's decision to make switching from Edge to another browser easier in Windows 11 may have been welcomed by users, but rival browser companies say it doesn't go far enough and should be made available to everyone, not just the more tech-savvy types.

One of the issues people had with Windows 11 at launch was that Microsoft seemed to be up to its old tricks again when it comes to forcing people onto default browser Edge. Installing a new browser and opening a link gave a single chance to commit to that browser with a checkbox, but missing it meant manually changing the default way of opening several internet-related file types, including .html, .htm, .mhtml, .pdf, and protocols like HTTP and HTTPS.

Microsoft took a lot of flak from consumers and web companies alike over this process, and it eventually brought back the usual, one-click method of changing the default browser—via an optional set of Windows 11 cumulative updates (KB5011563).

But it seems the change hasn't appeased rival browser makers. "This should apply to all users, not just the ones who are technically competent enough to realize that they need to install an optional update, and know how to actually do so. It should be installed for all users," Vivaldi boss Jon von Tetzchner told The Register.

"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."

Tetzchner concluded with a vaguely threatening, "They [Microsoft] 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."

Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, was equally unimpressed by the Redmond firm. "People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults and all operating systems should offer official developer support for default status."

"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."

 

Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Browser Market Share

For all the criticism Microsoft has faced over its tactics for promoting Edge, it is now the second most popular browser on desktops after pushing Safari off the number two slot last month with a 9.5% share. Research firm Statcounter has Firefox with a 7.5% slice of the pie, and Vivaldi doesn't have enough users to make the chart.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,201   +4,234
Reminder that this is just ONE way Windows 11 obfuscate basic functionality and competing products from being readily available to users.

Honestly the more Windows 11 news I see, the more I am convinced there's just no way to redeem Microsoft and much of the effort people will use on fighting back 11 and trying to remain in 10 to wait for the "next good one" version in 12 should be used to just switch to Linux instead: This means eliminating so many of the issues we still have and just landing on something stable and well supported (And no, I don't think it should be Ubuntu since it doesn't moves fast enough to address new hardware and important regressions, I personally think it should be something closer to what Valve is doing with their version of Arch which is a controlled rolling release)
 

Goamist

Posts: 51   +87
Somebody that cares enough to change their browser WILL know how to make the change. Even if MS makes the changes that Vivaldi and Mozilla want, not much will change in regards to alternate browser adoption. It's not like the current Chrome users, for example, changed to it because it was a very simple, 1-2 steps process.
Lastly, anyone that can't handle a default browser change in Windows shouldn't be on the internet to begin with :D
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,749   +7,664
Looks like the FTC needs to take MicroSludge to court again and hammer them for breaking the previous agreement, but this time include a small fine .... say, $50 to $100 Billion, you know, just to show they care!
 

JKnight

Posts: 188   +314
Most tech savvy uses will figure it out. Non-savvy users will just use Edge hence the rising popularity of Edge.
 

Axle Grease

Posts: 253   +200
I've been using Brave for what must be about two years now. The process of switching to Brave from Edge was to install Brave, run Brave, then agreeing to make it the default browser. It has been the same with every browser I've installed over the years including Firefox, Vivaldi, Tor, Opera, and Chrome. I have literally never experienced what moz and viv are complaining about.
 

DukeJukem

Posts: 287   +316
How dare microsoft think its ok to persuade users of microsoft windows to use a browser made by the creators of microsoft windows...the audacity! has anyone truly looked at edge with a critical eye? it's pretty good honestly. brave is fine but it renders images slower than edge, chrome or firefox for me. chrome is just edge with less features. firefox wont mimic my custom vertical scrolling steps I change in windows which is a joke and its ugly.

I like edge 🤷
windows 11 sucks though
 

psycros

Posts: 4,142   +5,767
I've been using Brave for what must be about two years now. The process of switching to Brave from Edge was to install Brave, run Brave, then agreeing to make it the default browser. It has been the same with every browser I've installed over the years including Firefox, Vivaldi, Tor, Opera, and Chrome. I have literally never experienced what moz and viv are complaining about.

Read the article's title again.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,142   +5,767
Somebody that cares enough to change their browser WILL know how to make the change. Even if MS makes the changes that Vivaldi and Mozilla want, not much will change in regards to alternate browser adoption. It's not like the current Chrome users, for example, changed to it because it was a very simple, 1-2 steps process.
Lastly, anyone that can't handle a default browser change in Windows shouldn't be on the internet to begin with :D

Except it totally IS a simple two-step process. You install Chrome, you get sent to Windows default programs, pick chrome as your browser and laugh at Microsoft begging you to give Edge a try. Of course I don't know why anyone would even bother with Chrome on Win11 since its literally Edge with some small tweaks.
 

Tantor

Posts: 314   +577
I do not like Microsoft.

My wife dual-boots Win 10 and KDE Linux. Every time Windows updates, it sets the bios boot partition to the Windows partition. Then my wife says 'dear, I can't get into Linux'. That forces me to boot into the bios and reset it to point to the linux boot partition. This happens regularly.

Or, when I recently installed Win10 on my backup drive. It required an email address or a MS account. The installer would not let me skip that step. That means they tie your OS to you. MS is fishing for your 'Personally Identifiable Information' or PII.

Why can't they let people alone?

At a certain point you simply have to face the truth: MS thinks it owns your brain.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 1,121   +2,239
I do not like Microsoft.

My wife dual-boots Win 10 and KDE Linux. Every time Windows updates, it sets the bios boot partition to the Windows partition. Then my wife says 'dear, I can't get into Linux'. That forces me to boot into the bios and reset it to point to the linux boot partition. This happens regularly.

Or, when I recently installed Win10 on my backup drive. It required an email address or a MS account. The installer would not let me skip that step. That means they tie your OS to you. MS is fishing for your 'Personally Identifiable Information' or PII.

Why can't they let people alone?

At a certain point you simply have to face the truth: MS thinks it owns your brain.

Next time that you are installing W10 or W11, make sure the pc is not connected to the internet and it will let you create a local account.

About dual booting, depending on what you do on the windows side, it might be more convenient and easier to simply run windows in a VM.