Microsoft recently decided to allow users to change their default browser again with just one click on Windows 11. Available as an optional download, once installed, users can easily switch between the browser set as default, a feature that was available on Windows 10 but missing on Windows 11. However, some Microsoft rival browsers are not yet happy with the change.
Prior to this (optional) update, users had to set their preferred browser for each type of file that could be used, such as HTTP, HTTPS, .HTML, etc. Many argued that by making the process so specific and time-consuming, it would force fewer users to switch to a different browser than Microsoft’s own Edge, which is the default on the operating system.
Now Microsoft is offering a simpler Switch, but as a cumulative update most users will have to update it themselves. To do this, simply check your Windows Update tab in the settings for “Cumulative Update 2022-03 for Windows 11 for x64-based systems (KB5011563)”.
But browser rivals aren’t too happy with how it all turned out. Both Vivaldi and Firefox have raised concerns about The register (opens in a new tab) about the change.
“This should apply to all users, not just those who are technically savvy enough to realize that they need to install an optional update and know how to do it. It should be installed for all users” , says Jon von Tetzchner of Vivaldi. .
“Although they made an attempt, the fact that it was done the way it was done leads to speculation that it is only done to avoid being sued for anti-competitive behavior, not to actually address the underlying problem.”
Vivaldi goes even further by saying that “They [Microsoft] keep trying to make it harder to switch to other browsers and use them. We look forward to the EU following up on this malpractice.”
Firefox maker Mozilla seems to agree with the sentiment that Microsoft could do more to make this change easier for users, though it doesn’t voice its disagreement as forcefully.
“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 also like to see progress on reducing the number of steps needed to set a new default browser, and opening up and making available APIs for apps to set the defaults used. by other Microsoft apps,” Mozilla told The Sign Up.
It’s understandably frustrating for browser developers who don’t hold the majority of the captive market to be sidelined in this way. Edge should be the least of Vivaldi and Firefox’s concerns, as Google Chrome gobbles up nearly 70% of browser users. However, these smaller browsers have to compete with both Chrome’s supremacy and Edge’s OS territory advantage.
It’s at least promising to see Microsoft acknowledging that this needs to be a simple switch for users to change browsers and other default apps. While it’s understandable that the creator of the operating system wants people to use his apps, he ultimately has to get them to do so by offering the superior option.
It is undoubtedly difficult to get users to switch browsers these days, as they have become much more engaged apps than ever before. You have logins, with passwords, addresses, favorites, bookmarks, and maybe even game streaming available per browser, making it harder for smaller browser companies to convince users to do the change.
However, if you want our vote, we’ve tested today’s best browsers and decided Firefox is the best for PC gaming. (opens in a new tab). That’s good news for me too, because I’m definitely a Firefox man.