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Microsoft draws flak for forcing Edge browser on Windows 10 Insiders

Microsoft makes another attempt at forcing its Edge browser on users.

tech Updated: Sep 14, 2018 11:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Microsoft,Microsoft Edge,Windows 10 Insiders
The tech giant also tried a similar push to force Windows 10 Mail users to use Edge for all email links, but the company reversed the change after a backlash.(REUTERS)

Microsoft is receiving a lot of heat for discouraging Windows 10 Insiders from installing Google Chrome or Firefox browsers on their devices.

The test prompt -- “You already have Microsoft Edge, the safer, faster browser for Windows 10” -- reportedly appeared to testers when they tried to run Chrome or Firefox on the latest Windows 10 update.

Microsoft has previously pushed notifications to Chrome users to tempt them to switch to Edge, used OneDrive ads in File Explorer and preloaded a variety of apps in Windows 10.

The tech giant also tried a similar push to force Windows 10 Mail users to use Edge for all email links, but the company reversed the change after a backlash.

“This is yet another unfortunate example of Microsoft abusing its monopoly power. It has been trying for years to direct users to its own browser, going so far as to add annoying pop-ups and prompts that divert users to keep using Edge when they use any other browser. They have also made it hard for users to change the default browser, which was a lot easier before. Now Microsoft is trying to redirect users before they’ve even installed a new browser,” wrote Jon von Tetzchner, CEO and co-founder of Vivaldi browser.

Won’t be part of final update
The test feature will not be part of the actual update slated for October, TheVerge reported.

“Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans say that the particular warning would not appear in the final October update,” said the website.

It has been testing feature changes over the course of its updates, but this particular change appeared very late in the testing stages and was mentioned nowhere in the blog-posts by the firm, the report said.

Whether or not such prompts would tag along with future Windows updates, would depend on the feedback on this particular test feature.

The feedback feature is also another test for Microsoft’s “Windows as a service” model that relies on testers to provide responses to the company’s ongoing changes.

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 11:43 IST