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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Microsoft REALLY Wants You to Use Edge

November 16, 2021

For years and years, Microsoft tried to push the Internet Explorer browser as the default for Windows users. That didn’t turn out too well as Firefox and Chrome moved out in front of the browser market. Microsoft then abandoned IE and is currently pushing the Chrome-based Edge browser as the default. According to a Verge post, Microsoft is pushing so hard that it is blocking technologies to easily set the default browser to something other than Edge. Specifically, Microsoft is blocking apps such as EdgeDeflector and even Firefox from redirecting traffic away from Edge.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge, “Windows openly enables applications and services on its platform, including various web browsers. At the same time, Windows also offers certain end-to-end customer experiences in both Windows 10 and Windows 11, the search experience from the taskbar is one such example of an end-to-end experience that is not designed to be redirected. When we become aware of improper redirection, we issue a fix.”

Obviously, the action has really ticked off a bunch of Firefox and EdgeDeflector users. As Microsoft rolls out the new code to Windows 11, users will be forced to use Edge for browser and search activity. In other words, it is beginning to look like Windows users will not have a choice of browsers going forward. I am sensing we are going to see some legal and technical challenges in the coming months. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if other browser developers find some sort of work-around to give Windows users a choice.

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