Microsoft is blocking EdgeDeflector to force Windows 11 users into Edge

Microsoft has already made it harder to switch standard browsers in Windows 11, and now the company goes a step further by blocking apps like EdgeDeflector. Third-party apps like EdgeDeflector and even Firefox have offered solutions to Microsoft that force people to use Edge in Start Menu search results, even if their default browser is not Edge.

Microsoft has forced Windows 10 and Windows 11 users into Edge and its Bing search engine in the Start menu search results and now with the new Widgets panel in Windows 11. It’s a frustrating part of Windows that does not respect your default browser choice. EdgeDeflector lets you bypass these restrictions and open the Start menu search results in your chosen default browser.

The EdgeDeflector block first appeared in an early preview of Windows 11 last week. While the blockchain originally looked like a bug, Microsoft has now confirmed that the changes will arrive for all Windows 11 users in a software update that arrives in the coming weeks. Microsoft has decided to prevent app developers from invoking microsoft edge protocol links, which are now restricted to the Edge browser.

Windows 11 makes it harder to set default apps.

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

This “fix” is now part of an upcoming upcoming update for Windows 11 that arrived to Beta and Release Preview users late Friday, and the developer of EdgeDeflector is not happy with Microsoft’s changes. “These are not actions from an attentive company that cares about its product anymore,” says Daniel Aleksandersen, developer of EdgeDeflector, in a critical blog post last week. “Microsoft is not a good manager of the Windows operating system. They prioritize ads, bundleware, and service subscriptions over the productivity of their users.”

Microsoft has not explained why it has suddenly started blocking EdgeDeflector and other apps, but it is very clear why. “The 500,000 EdgeDeflector users were probably never more than a nuisance to Microsoft,” explains Aleksandersen. “Last month, however, both the Brave and Firefox web browsers either copied EdgeDeflector’s functionality or signaled that it was on the roadmap.”

Firefox has 200 million users, so it has probably caught Microsoft’s attention and got them to fix this solution. Mozilla is also not impressed with Microsoft’s blockchain here.

Firefox in the Microsoft Store does not include standard browser solutions.

“People deserve choices. They should have the ability to set default settings simply and easily, and their choice of default browser should be respected,” a Mozilla spokesman said in a statement to The edge. “We have been working on code that launches Firefox when the microsoft-edge protocol is used for those users who have already chosen Firefox as their default browser. Following the recent change to Windows 11, this planned implementation will no longer be possible.”

Mozilla also implemented its own solution to quickly and easily set Firefox as the default browser on Windows 10 and Windows 11 with a single click. It’s a feature that Microsoft is limiting to its Edge browser. While Mozilla’s solution is available in the version of Firefox you download from the web, you’re missing the default browser solution if you download Firefox from the Microsoft Store.

“Firefox is sending an MSIX package to the Windows Store so our users on Windows 10 and Windows 11 can download Firefox from the Store,” a Mozilla spokesman explained. “MSIX packages run in a ‘Windows package environment.’ The aspects of the Windows environment that Firefox relies on when users choose Firefox as their default browser do not work in an MSIX environment. “

Microsoft’s changes here are gross, especially those of Windows 11, which make it harder to switch standard browsers in the first place. It’s an aggressive strategy that reminds me of the ugly antitrust battle to bring Internet Explorer into Windows. Microsoft also faced several fines in Europe for its anti-competitive Internet Explorer bundle, including a $ 730 million fine for violating a 2009 antitrust agreement.

The strangest part of Microsoft that forces people to use Edge and ignores browser standards in Windows is that Microsoft Edge is a good browser. Microsoft should not have to force you to use it.

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