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Mozilla CEO Pens Open Letter To Satya Nadella Over Default Browser Preference In Windows 10

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Microsoft believes that Edge is capable enough to overwrite the wrongs done by Internet Explorer in the past. And while that looks to be true considering Edge’s modern-age speed and UI capabilities, Microsoft’s default browser preferences backed by their newly-found confidence in Edge, hasn’t gone down well with Mozilla CEO Chris Beard.

The default browser parameters are applied while upgrading or installing a fresh copy of Windows 10, irrespective of your browser preference on previous Windows versions. That means, if you were using Chrome or Firefox as your default browser in Windows 8.1, the preference will now be shifted to Edge as the new default browser as soon as you upgrade.

Something, which has obviously irked up Beard.

Also, you cannot choose Chrome or Firefox as your default browser back again by just a one click. You will have to make those changes through default app settings. Although, Windows will guide you all the way to the settings, non technical users who don’t have any idea where to make those clicks will certainly find themselves using Edge as their new browser.

Disgruntled by these changes, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard today wrote an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, saying that the company is taking away its users’ choices. Mozilla had earlier made a quite few attempts to convince Microsoft to keep the same preference for browsers while upgrading to Windows 10. However, it seems that Microsoft ignored all the calls.

Beard wrote in his letter –

When we first saw the Windows 10 upgrade experience that strips users of their choice by effectively overriding existing user preferences for the Web browser and other apps, we reached out to your team to discuss this issue. Unfortunately, it didn’t result in any meaningful progress, hence this letter.

He further awarded Microsoft’s moves with terms like ” dramatic step backwards” and condemned for not respecting user’s preferences. He added –

While it is technically possible for people to preserve their previous settings and defaults, the design of the new Windows 10 upgrade experience and user interface does not make this obvious nor easy.

As a defence move, Mozilla has put a step by step tutorial to guide users how to shift back to Firefox when they upgrade to Windows 10.


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