Microsoft doubles down on its strategy to get more Windows 11 users on Microsoft Edge

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Microsoft has been adding new ways in Windows 11 to try to get more users to go with its Edge browser. Earlier this year, it changed the way users could set their default browsers, adding a bunch of new steps that required them to switch a number of settings manually in order to switch away from Edge. Last week, the company took another step by locking the Edge-specific protocol that enabled users to redirect programs to other Web browsers.

If you want a thorough explanation of what changed regarding the Edge protocol, I'd recommend this post from ghacks.net. In short, Microsoft blocked tools like Edge Deflector and Search Deflector, which were designed to make selecting a browser other than Edge more of a straightforward process.

Microsoft didn't do this by accident, and officials made it clear they aren't considering relenting on this. In last week's Windows 11 Dev Channel test build notes, there's a line that acknowledges its latest move. It simply says: "We fixed an issue where OS functionality could be improperly redirected when microsoft-edge: links are invoked."

I asked for a statement about whether the company intends to try to make switching to a browser other than Edge as difficult as possible with Windows 11. Please keep in mind; I am just the messenger here. A spokesperson sent the following:


Read more: Microsoft doubles down on its strategy to get more Windows 11 users on Edge | ZDNet
 

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BunnyJ

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Winuser

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How would it be illegal?
The only thing I can think of is that it might be considered trying to monopolize Edge on devices running Windows.
 

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BunnyJ

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The only thing I can think of is that it might be considered trying to monopolize Edge on devices running Windows.
Could be but so far I've not run into any issues with my current default, Firefox. It might be for clean or upgrades down the line but not right now.
 

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Josey Wales

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I stopped reading the article after reading the first paragraph. Is Microsoft going to make it harder to change the default browser in future builds? Only MS knows. Even if they do, I'm sure they will be made to change it back.
Someone will always come up with a workaround.
 

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If they block it, I will install and Dual boot with Linux and use it for the Net. MS should be broken up just like AT&T was as they are becoming a monopoly and I am tireing of the way they use people and conduct Business..

And just how well did that turn out all these years later?
 

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How would it be illegal?
If it succeded in squeezing other browsers out of the market then MS arguably would be in breech of US law and EU law.
 

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If it succeded in squeezing other browsers out of the market then MS arguably would be in breech of US law and EU law.
First of all I doubt they can squeeze Firefox or other browsers since it's easy to set Firefox as the default. Second, I doubt this will get to US courts,... the EU might be another matter but time will tell
 

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flashh4

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I have used FF for a long time, i use Edge & Fire Fox 94.0.1 on both computers ! My wife likes Edge & Opera !!
Chuck
 

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It's not that they have blocked the default browser from opening normal http or https links....... yet, it's the MS Apps that they have baked in the microsoft-edge:// protocol to open sites. Presumably the Start screen search for openers. If you don't use MS apps it probably won't at present affect anything.
However, strikes me that Microsoft needs reminding that they do not own the internet nor should they be creating MS only protocols to increase their attempt to monopolise the internet by only using thier browser, clearly learned nothing from the IE incident, users need to be able to make their own decisions about what browser to use regardless of what app requires web access.

I did tick a box on Edge to stop asking me to set it as default browser yesterday, it hasn't appeared since having just opened it a few times to check it has been silenced. Firefox is still the default for everything else other than this annoying microsoft-edge:// protocol
 

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flashh4

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Oh by the way i don't have any set as my Default !!
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The Pool Man

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FULL DISCLOSURE -- If you've been paying attention this 3 decade Mac user is no Microsoft apologist

That said, I think everyone is being very whiny. I was tricked by this story at first, believing that Windows simply wouldn't let me use Firefox and Chrome. That's not even close to the case. All we're talking about is product defaults. Last time I checked --

1. Chromebooks default to Google products (You can't, say, turn it into a Firefoxbook or an Edgebook. Right?)
2. Mac shoves Safari so far up your nose you need one of these

2021-11-15 11_53_30-safari cap at DuckDuckGo — Mozilla Firefox.jpg

3. Doesn't Siri force you into vendor preferred sources?
4. Does 'Hey Google' make it easy to use DuckDuckGo?

Hey, if MS wants to be just like every other Tech Powerhouse -- I don't see the crime.

What am I missing?
 
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Winuser

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It's not that they have blocked the default browser from opening normal http or https links....... yet, it's the MS Apps that they have baked in the microsoft-edge:// protocol to open sites. Presumably the Start screen search for openers. If you don't use MS apps it probably won't at present affect anything.
However, strikes me that Microsoft needs reminding that they do not own the internet nor should they be creating MS only protocols to increase their attempt to monopolise the internet by only using thier browser, clearly learned nothing from the IE incident, users need to be able to make their own decisions about what browser to use regardless of what app requires web access.

I did tick a box on Edge to stop asking me to set it as default browser yesterday, it hasn't appeared since having just opened it a few times to check it has been silenced. Firefox is still the default for everything else other than this annoying microsoft-edge:// protocol
You are correct about using Windows Search. It does use the Edge Browser. I rarely us it so I'm not going to see if Search can be changed to another browser.
 

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dbartenstein

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You are correct about using Windows Search. It does use the Edge Browser. I rarely us it so I'm not going to see if Search can be changed to another browser.
Yup. I have web search turned off in Start and Desktop. If I want to search the web I'll open a browser... the one of my choosing...
 

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You are correct about using Windows Search. It does use the Edge Browser. I rarely us it so I'm not going to see if Search can be changed to another browser.
Exactly, I've never used it and not about to either so probably won't affect me, however freedom of choice is something that IMO shouldn't be restricted.
 

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I had mine set in win 10 and when I swapped to win 11 it kept all my settings for default browser, obviously now I will loose edgedeflector. I am beginning to think the MS are getting way above their station
 
Last edited:

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The Pool Man

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The real solution to this issue is broader. The problem isn't Edge but the Start Menu itself.

I'd love it if someone came up with an app that looked a lot like the Start Menu but wasn't the actual one. It would --

1. Let you put as many apps as you like
2. Change the size of the window
3. Change the location of the power buttons
4. Change default search and default browser
5. Cancel All Apps and offer App Drawer

So all they'd need is an overdrive of the Windows Button. So that when you clicked that it would open their start instead.
 

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glasskuter

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MS should be broken up just like AT&T
I'll have to disagree with that. Look at what happened with ATT. They merged back together. It was a big mess during the interim years. I know. I worked for them when they disolved and all during the time there were baby Bells. It was good for the stockholders, though. 3 for ones, splits, etc. It's the same way with all big companies. They get big and then too big for their britches. Who suffers...their customers.
 

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glasskuter

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As of 6 days ago Firefox desktop is in Windows store. That makes it appear it will continue to work.
 

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As of 6 days ago Firefox desktop is in Windows store. That makes it appear it will continue to work
With MS trying to push Edge, it would be wrong for them to make it harder to use another browser as the default.
 

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  • Operating System
    Windows 11
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docfreed

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6:47 PM
Posts
6
As of 6 days ago Firefox desktop is in Windows store. That makes it appear it will continue to work.
Yes but that version does not let you use FF as default - it goes to edge. I just removed Win 11 and went back to 10 until the MS A***Holes change back to letting us choose.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ACER
    CPU
    Ryzen 3 3200
  • Operating System
    Win 10
    Computer type
    Tablet
    Manufacturer/Model
    Microsoft Surface Pro 7
    CPU
    Intel I3
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