If you perform a clean install of Windows 10, you shouldn’t be too surprised that Microsoft Edge is chosen as your default web browser. After all, it’s the only browser installed by default (well, I guess you could also count the old and decrepit Internet Explorer, which still lingers around for compatibility purposes). But when performing an upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10, you would expect for the installer to retain your preferences for the default web browser. Unfortunately, expectations don’t often match reality.
If you have a competing browser like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome set as your default browser before upgrading to Window 10, this selection will be overridden by the installer and Microsoft Edge will take its “rightful” place as king of the castle. Needless to say, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard is livid about the change.
“With the launch of Windows 10 we are deeply disappointed to see Microsoft take such a dramatic step backwards,” barked Beard. “It is bewildering to see, after almost 15 years of progress bolstered by significant government intervention, that with Windows 10 user choice has now been all but removed.”
We’re just getting started, and Beard has already brought up memories of Microsoft’s antitrust trial. In other words, he dropped his fists and went straight for the handgun. “The upgrade process now appears to be purposefully designed to throw away the choices its customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and replace it with the Internet experience Microsoft wants them to have.”
Beard goes on to say that after witnessing countless pre-release of builds of Windows 10 exhibit this behavior, he reached out to the boys and gals in Redmond to change course. “Unfortunately this didn’t result in any meaningful change,” added a somber Beard.
While reconfiguring Firefox (or Chrome) to be your default browser is a rather trivial matter for seasoned Windows users, Mozilla has still offered up a how-to video that walks you through the process:
In addition, Beard has penned an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressing his outrage that “millions of users who love Windows [are] having their choices ignored.”
What say you Hot Hardware readers? Is Beard making a big deal out of a small matter, or should Microsoft stand down and stop overriding customers’ default browser selection?