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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Dru2

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I didn't/don't have an issue with using Microsoft's default browser - I used Internet Explorer forever until Edge came along. I have no compelling reasons to move from Edge as it has worked for all my needs.

That said... I think this move stinks to high hell. First Edge, then perhaps search engines (I use Google), and what next? Sounds like Microsoft is stepping over the edge here.
 

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The Pool Man

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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.

... so you just install Firefox by yourself...?
 

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until the MS A***Holes change back to letting us choose.
I already did it in Oct. when I installed Windows 11, so are you folks telling me I can no longer go into file types and change .htm and .html to Firefox. While I was there I scrolled down the list and anywhere Edge showed up I changed it. Is that not possible anymore?
 

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Talk about weird...
microsoft-edge: in a Run box opens Catsxp browser!

0001541.png

Start web searches also open in Catsxp!
 

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jvickers

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Talk about weird...
microsoft-edge: in a Run box opens Catsxp browser!

View attachment 13750

Start web searches also open in Catsxp!
Not sure what you mean, Edwin. I tried that, and it opened Edge. Maybe I have to have Catsxp installed...
 

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Porthos

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The only thing I see is when you open any link in widgets, or help links in the file explorer it will open with Edge. Serch as well.
I do not use any of those featues so no issue here.
 

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i486

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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

Why do you think they want Windows users to stick to Edge, could it be that they're drooling and looking at the big pie that represents all the data they could mine from people's internet browsing? Google and Mozilla already got their pieces, now MS wants the whole thing.

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.

For now. They plan things on the long term, and if they can manage to increase Edge's share to a majority on their platform, it would give them an excuse later to stop supporting other browsers altogether. I too find that scenario unlikely, but consider what happened with the Windows 11 UI customization options already. They must've made their decision partially based on telemetry. If they can "streamline" Windows in a way that is more cost efficient or even profitable, they will. It just takes time, the customer base must be given time to adjust, to forget the little offences that later constitute the big unforgivable ones.
 

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Edwin

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... Maybe I have to have Catsxp installed...
Yes.

Then, the only time I've gotten the "How do you want to open this..." from the Start Menu...

0001542.png

... now it's Catsxp as default. (Still uses Bing engine though!) :cautious:
 

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ThrashZone

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Hi,
Catsxp that's a new one lol :lmao:
 

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dbartenstein

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Slavic

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Yes.

Then, the only time I've gotten the "How do you want to open this..." from the Start Menu...

... now it's Catsxp as default. (Still uses Bing engine though!) :cautious:
As well as Brave browser, according to this The Verge article. Unfortunately, Chrome and Firefox are already blocked in Windows 11 from this list and I think that the fate of two evading browsers will be similar, it's only a matter of time. I don't see an easy solution besides of changing the habit of Internet search in the Start menu and avoiding the links in a News widget.

Historically, Windows was counted as one of most open systems (after Unix world, of course), much more opened than macOS or Android. Apparently Microsoft now counts this a great disadvantage and wants to make its OS more closed. If so, only the noticeable disagreement from many users can revert this tendency. I think that refusing to install old good programs as MS Store apps (and installing their versions taken directly from developers in traditional way) would be a strong argument in current situation.
 

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I don't know why anyone needs anything other than Edge. It's as good as it gets. I even use it on my Android phone. It's better than Chrome and Firefox has always been bottom of the barrel for me.
 

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MS has been trying to muscle out browser competitors for decades now so this is nothing new for them. At work we are forced to use Edge's IE compatibility to access certain sites and with the latest updates we no longer have to specify the sites for it.
 

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Winuser

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I don't know why anyone needs anything other than Edge. It's as good as it gets. I even use it on my Android phone. It's better than Chrome and Firefox has always been bottom of the barrel for me.
That is your opinion. For me, I'll take Firefox over Edge any day. I only use Edge for testing.
 

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I don't know why anyone needs anything other than Edge. It's as good as it gets. I even use it on my Android phone. It's better than Chrome and Firefox has always been bottom of the barrel for me.
Have you tried a later build of Firefox? Lot of improvements and faster performance then the old days. Just saying it might surprise you.
 

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Quick question, is there a way to remove Microsoft Edge, I don't see a removal option. Also if so how it would it effect your system?
 

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BunnyJ

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Quick question, is there a way to remove Microsoft Edge, I don't see a removal option. Also if so how it would it effect your system?
I'm sure you can but I haven't.. I simply don't use it.
 

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HRPuffnstuff

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Google is littered with varying instructions on how to remove it but I haven't tried any of them. Tonight I was forced to use it after chrome failed to negotiate the website I was on so its not going anywhere.
 

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    EVGA AIO 360, Antec 120mm ARGB x 8
    Keyboard
    Razer Huntsman Elite V1
    Mouse
    Corsair Glaive RGB
    Internet Speed
    225Mbps cable primary, 6Mbps secondary vdsl
    Browser
    Chrome primary, FF-Edge-IE secondary
    Antivirus
    McAfee Endpoint Security
    Other Info
    I sit on a Secret Lab Titan XL 2020 chair.😍
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    2021 HP Omen
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
    Motherboard
    factory
    Memory
    16gb ddr 3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia RTX 3060 Mobile
    Sound Card
    onboard B&O
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6" 144hz IPS
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Hynix 512gb nvme ssd, WD Black SN850 2TB nvme ssd
    PSU
    factory
    Case
    factory
    Cooling
    factory
    Mouse
    touchpad and Logitech wireless mouse
    Keyboard
    4 zone rgb
    Internet Speed
    WiFi 6, 1gb ethernet
    Browser
    Chrome primary, FF-IE and Edge secondary
    Antivirus
    McAfee Endpoint Security
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