If everything goes as planned, then computing giant Microsoft hopes to end the year with the release of their latest iteration of their Windows NT operating system: Windows 11, successor to Windows 10 which came out back in 2015. Retaining the Win-10 aesthetics while adding a lot of new things, Win-11 has been shaping up to be a worthy follow-up to its predecessor. Not everything is wine and roses however; Windows 11 is going to be compatible with fewer, newer PCs and laptops than 10. Another issue noticed by Windows Insiders testing the upcoming OS is the resurgence of a practice by Microsoft prioritizing their internet browsers over the competition.
As The Verge would have it, the lucky members of the Windows Insider program that have been able to check out Microsoft Windows 11 over the previous weeks have discovered that the operating system has made the selection of default applications for tasks to be a more complex procedure, and one that skews in favor of Microsoft’s own apps. This is especially telling with internet browsers. If a user installs a different browser and opens it for the first time, they better remember to set it as default during the automatic prompt. Changing it later on will prove a hassle.
Developers of other browsers such as Mozilla, Opera and Vivaldi have expressed concern that Microsoft is freezing them out of being used over Edge with the new default app assignment interface. This time, default app must be selected for handling file and link types rather than for single purposes. Meaning: rather than set a default browser, Win-11 forces users to choose individual defaults for opening HTM files, then HTML, then PDF, WEBP, et cetera. The same probably applies for choosing a default email app, online maps, media players and more.
Worried statements have been issued by higher-ups for the other Windows browsers: Firefox senior VP Selena Deckelmann, Opera browser head Krystian Colondra, an anonymous Vivaldi spokesperson and even Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google head of Android, Chrome and Chrome OS. The theme of their complaints is common, that Microsoft is echoing the days from their previous Windows OS’s wherein they tried to give their Internet Explorer a higher default priority over rival browsers. Microsoft has countered the allegations saying that assigning defaults by file type gives users finer control on which apps they want to open which files, rather than a blanket default setting. They do welcome customer feedback for Windows 11.
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