Microsoft has had to respond to the controversy of the blocking of EdgeDeflector in Windows 11 and other mechanisms that the developers of Firefox and Brave established to prevent the Redmond firm from forcing the use of its own Edge browser by opening certain links and relegating the rest of alternatives.
In statements to The Verge, Microsoft comes to say that it does it by improve user experience: «Windows openly enables applications and services on its platform, including various web browsers. At the same time, Windows also offers certain end-to-end client experiences in both Windows 10 and Windows 11, the search experience from the taskbar is an example of an end-to-end experience that is not designed to be redirected. . When we notice a wrong redirect, we issue a solution«.
It seems like common sense … or does it? Microsoft can ensure that consistent and predictable user experience for its Windows features “end to end” using your browser. The point is that there are other browsers that users want to use on top of Edge and that they should have the same treatment and behavior in operating systems that have a market share close to 90%.
In addition to explicitly acknowledging that the EdgeDeflector crash was made to force users to use Edge, there are reasons to believe that the explanation no excuse and it will convince few outside of Microsoft. The first is that a solution that meets the standards set by Microsoft should work just as well using Edge or Chrome since they have the same Chromium base. And it is not the case. Another is that users may have their own reasons for preferring that certain links open in their own browser and not having to activate two running browsers, both with their own consumption of resources, which are not few in these applications.
The “improvement in user experience»Quoted by Microsoft is negated by numerous disadvantages. Even for the same company. In fact, users may end up avoiding using features like Windows Search, Cortana, News and Interests, or even Windows 11 itself simply because they don’t have the ability to open the links in the web browser of their choice.
Microsoft should not decide for the user himself. And it all starts from there, taking advantage of Windows’ huge market share to power its own applications. A repeated behavior, nothing transparent, that many describe as monopolistic and that we will see where it ends.
The developer of EdgeDeflector, after turning Microsoft into a stew, said that I would not update the tool again under current conditions because it would mean «to break»Windows 11.
But another developer has a different approach and has created the MSEdgeRedirect application that «filter and change command line arguments of Microsoft Edge processes to your default browser«, Which should avoid that only Microsoft Edge could be able to handle the protocol«microsoft-edge: // protocol»And that future Windows 11 updates break the system.
The new tool is available on GitHub and the developer also plans in new versions to replace the Bing links (Microsoft’s own search engine) with the search engine that the user prefers.
Unfortunately, these developments, such as the customization of the browser choice for each type of extension and associated protocol and that Microsoft has also changed in Windows 11, they will only be used by a tiny part of users And with all these tricks the company will achieve the goal: to increase the share of Edge, a great browser that does not need artificial inflates.
As they said from Mozilla: «People deserve options. They should have the ability to set defaults simply and easily and your choice of default browser should be respected«.
Since the blocking of EdgeDeflector and solutions implemented by Firefox or Brave is in the testing phase on Windows 11 Insider builds, it will be easy to go back and (for once) respect users’ choice when using your favorite web browser without further ado.