While there does indeed appear to be a few genuinely helpful updates coming our way in Windows 11, there is a lot we are super worried about (assuming we even own a computer that can handle the damn thing). Recently, beta testers have begun relaying some info that definitely belongs in the latter category: Microsoft is planning to continue its long, time-honored tradition of being incredibly annoying if you prefer a third-party internet browser over its own native program, Microsoft Edge.
“Like in Windows 10, you’ll get a prompt when you click on a web link asking you to choose an app. But unless you specifically tell the system that you’d like to switch browsers, it will assume you’re okay with Microsoft Edge as the default,” Gizmodo explains, adding that “it gets worse” in that, if you don’t opt out right away, you have to personally delve into Windows 11’s settings to change the default choice for... Every. Single. File. Type.
What’s more, other screenshots appear to indicate that Windows 11 will constantly suggest you give Microsoft Edge a try upon switching to something like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. “Even Windows 11's default taskbar widget point the user directly to Edge, despite the default setting,” adds Gizmodo. We’re not exactly surprised to hear Microsoft continues to take it extremely personally if a user prefers another browser to its (admittedly totally fine now) Edge offering, but it still sucks to know there will be even more hoops to jump through in the coming months.
Sigh. First Clippy, and now this? Old habits die hard at Microsoft.
At least it’s not still pushing Internet Explorer — As we mentioned earlier, it’s not that Microsoft Edge is a bad browser — quite the contrary, if we’re being honest. And, if nothing else, at least an entirely new generation of users will be able to grow up without knowing the horrors of *shudder* Internet Explorer, which is thankfully set to be finally killed off later next year.
All that said, a lack of customization is simply not a tenable option for companies like Microsoft, especially when it’s got more competition than ever. Edge is good, but it’s not that good, and forcing it on consumers does nothing to improve our dispositions towards it.