All of the users which upgraded to Windows 10 since its worldwide launch on Wednesday have had their default internet browser changed to Microsoft’s own Edge. This also applied to those who upgraded from Windows 7 or 8.1 and chose the Express Setup option, which later has them confirm Edge as their default browser.
However, if users choose to import their settings during the upgrading process, this will not change their option regarding the default internet browser.
Beard, speaking in the name of the entire company, called the system “disturbing” and “an aggressive move” which goes over user choice. He specifically called on Microsoft for wanting to impose their preferred internet browsing experience on new Windows 10 users. The open letter was addressed towards Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella.
To add to Mozilla’s discontent with the situation, resetting another browser to default has become a more complicated process. In past iterations of Windows, using a browser different to the default one prompted an in-app prompt which asked users whether they wanted to set it as the new default, and would do this automatically if selected. But in Windows 10, while these prompts still appear, the user must manually change the default browser option, which admittedly will keep a significant number away from doing it.
“We appreciate that it’s still technically possible to preserve people’s previous settings and defaults, but the design of the whole upgrade experience and the default settings APIs have been changed to make this less obvious and more difficult” wrote Beard in the open letter.
There are multiple ways to change the default browser in Windows 10. When using a browser which is not the default choice, a “Use this as my default browser” option will prompt. This will take you to the “Choose default apps” section of the Settings app, from which you need to choose your preferred method of surfing the internet from a list with all the installed browsers on the system. Additionally, you can do this from Edge’s settings, but that is more confusing as it is done from a tab named as “Edge”.
The Mozilla CEO’s rant is somewhat normal when you take into account its context: Firefox was the worldwide preferred browser about half a dozen years ago, but has steadily lost ground to Google’s Chrome. Now, Microsoft Edge threatens to destabilize its position and enhance its downward trend, with initial reviews of the internet browser pointing it out as an overall way better experience than its former default Internet Explorer.
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