Microsoft has stepped up its efforts to attract more Windows 11 users on Edge
Microsoft has been adding new features to Windows 11 to try to get more people to use its Edge browser. Earlier this year, it changed the way users set up their default browser, adding new steps that required users to manually switch some Settings to get off Edge. Last week, the company took another step by locking in edge's unique protocol, which allows users to redirect programs to other Web browsers.
If you want a detailed explanation of the changes to the Edge protocol, I recommend this article from Ghacks.net.In short, Microsoft blocked tools like Edge Deflector and Search Deflector, which were designed to make it easier to choose a browser other than Edge.
Microsoft is not doing this by accident, and officials have made it clear that they will not consider backing down on the matter. In the Windows 11, Dev Channel test build notes last week, there was a line acknowledging its latest move. It simply said: "We fixed an issue where operating system functionality could be incorrectly redirected when Microsoft-Edge: links were called."
I asked Microsoft for a statement on whether it intends to make it as difficult as possible for users to switch to a browser other than Edge in Windows 11. Please remember that. I'm just the messenger here. A spokesman sent the following message:
"The Windows platform opens up applications and services, including a variety of web browsers. At the same time, Windows also provides specific end-user experiences on Windows 10 and Windows 11. The search experience in the taskbar is an example of an end-to-end experience that is not designed for redirection. When we become aware of faulty redirects, we release fixes."
As I and other Microsoft watchers have pointed out, Microsoft is looking to expand not only its browser market share but also its focus and market share on Bing and MSN News (now known as "Microsoft Start"). The browser is the most used application on Windows(and all other operating systems). Letting users log in will help Microsoft promote Bing and other Microsoft services, including universal Microsoft search and, eventually, its advertising platform.
I like Microsoft Edge myself. But I don't like the way Microsoft is trying to give Edge more of an edge over the competition. (And I certainly don't like the way Windows 11 prompts me to change my default search engine to Bing.)Come on, Microsoft. I thought your evil empire days were over...