Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Updates Windows 11 to Stop People From Escaping Edge with EdgeDeflector

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

Enough people wanted to ignore Microsoft Edge, a browser so weak that only about 4% of the web uses it despite being the default in Windows, that Microsoft now resorts to dirtier tricks than ever.

Microsoft tried telling you Firefox and Chrome are dangerous.

They tried having Edge “accidentally” steal back default browser status.

Now they make you manually specify your default browser in dozens of places, and then hard code Windows 11 to ignore it anyway and open stuff in Edge.

A guy named Daniel Aleksandersen wrote a program called EdgeDeflector to deal with this annoyance from a former monopolist that can’t come to terms with being an also-ran in the current consumer and professional OS market place (having lost to Linux, Android, Chromebooks, and Macs….Windows is still big, but the bathtub drain stopper has been unplugged and they now panic).

If you don’t count mobile devices, Microsoft has, at most, an 80% market share in PCs (even if you’re willing to accept the friendliest turf to Microsoft I could find, as of late last year, even IDC and a Windows blog that doesn’t mention desktop GNU/Linux can’t save them, and the article mentions a dead project that was picked over to create “Windows 11”), but can’t manage to convince 5% of the web to use Edge.

They went from being a juggernaut that you could barely escape, with 98% for both categories, to this, and it’s not getting better for them.

Even Windows users (who often got stuck with the check for it as part of the computer even though it is unreliable, horrendously bloated, and nasty) don’t want it. And they’ve gotten used to using Microsoft’s browser once to download something else, and then paying it no mind ever again.

It seems that enough people installed EdgeDeflector that it caught Microsoft’s attention, so they changed how the OS works so there’s no way to redirect URLs that they force-open in Edge anymore.

At least not without ripping out Edge itself and putting in a “fake Edge” that intercepts things that way, and Aleksandersen says he’s not prepared to go there.

Remember that if you use GNU/Linux, you can install any browser you want and there’s one setting that makes anything you want to use the default.

For some reason, the Micro-softies think you’ll install their keylogging spyware, Edge, in “Linux”… Hard pass.

They might have Mozilla too captured to do anything about this, but hopefully their real competitors (Jon von Tetzchner of Vivaldi isn’t happy) raise hell and file lawsuits. Even if not, perhaps it will finally piss people off enough that they go chill out on an OS that doesn’t treat them like livestock.

On GNU/Linux I think I have like 9 web browsers, and none of them have food fights, and Debian certainly doesn’t steal my defaults and give them to something I can’t even remove.

Ryan's Debian
*Laughs in “Doesn’t need EdgeDeflector”*

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