Windows 11 desperately wants you to use Edge browser for everything

    Windows 11 updates to now block third-party apps from redirecting start menu links to browsers other than Edge. Here's what you need to know.
    By: AMRITANSHU MUKHERJEE
    | Updated on: Nov 17 2021, 11:11 IST
    Microsoft will force Windows 11 users to open all links from the Start menu and the new Widgets page in the Edge browser after blocking EdgeDeflector.
    Microsoft will force Windows 11 users to open all links from the Start menu and the new Widgets page in the Edge browser after blocking EdgeDeflector. (Amritanshu Mukherjee / HT Tech)
    Microsoft will force Windows 11 users to open all links from the Start menu and the new Widgets page in the Edge browser after blocking EdgeDeflector.
    Microsoft will force Windows 11 users to open all links from the Start menu and the new Widgets page in the Edge browser after blocking EdgeDeflector. (Amritanshu Mukherjee / HT Tech)

    Windows 11 is all about offering the best of Microsoft's services and it may be taking that too seriously. The new OS makes it difficult to change the default browser from Edge and now, it wants all web links across Windows 11 features and apps to open in Edge only. With an upcoming update, Microsoft is blocking third-party apps to deflect links to other browsers.

    EdgeDeflector is an app that allowed users to divert all web links from Windows 11 and Windows 10 to open in a browser of their choice, not just stick to Edge. Microsoft is now blocking it, and all of its clones; some of which include Mozilla Firefox and Brave web browsers.

    Windows 11 to force you using Edge

    With this change implemented, Microsoft will force Windows 11 users to open all links from the Start menu and the new Widgets page in the Edge browser. EdgeDeflector and its kind allowed users to open these links on a browser of their preference.

    It has not been alien that Microsoft desperately wants Windows users to stick to its Edge browsers. What started out as a plead on the “Download Chrome” web search on Bing has evolved into a full scale campaign to force users to use the Edge browser. In Windows 11, changing the default browser is more confusing than ever, with users now needing to specify what kind of web pages need to open in which app.

    To its credits, the Edge browser has evolved into a pleasant browser in the last few years, especially after its transition to the Chromium base. Edge works and syncs nicely with Google services, although Microsoft continues to push Bing as the default search engine as well as its MSN feed.

    However, forcing a browser upon users voids the idea of having the freedom to choose a browser of their own. Those who are comfortable using Chrome, Firefox, or Brave browsers for everything will miss out on on convenience.

    Microsoft is in no mood to come up with an alternative solution. “Windows openly enables applications and services on its platform, including various web browsers. At the same time, Windows also offers certain end-to-end customer experiences in both Windows 10 and Windows 11, the search experience from the taskbar is one such example of an end-to-end experience that is not designed to be redirected. When we become aware of improper redirection, we issue a fix,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.

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    First Published Date: 17 Nov, 11:11 IST
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