Microsoft has released an update for Windows that makes it difficult to change the default browser. In addition, the software add-on gave Chrome users an awkward experience – they had to “get acquainted” with numerous pop-ups when using any Google product.
The Windows April update actually “screwed up” the button in Chrome that allowed you to change the default browser in one click without going into settings. However, the worst awaited users of enterprise versions of Windows. For several weeks, enterprise users opening Chrome were seeing pop-ups – the only way to get rid of them was to uninstall the system update.
The browser wars escalated in July 2022 when Google quietly released a new button in Chrome for Windows. The switch at the top of the screen allows you to change the default browser in one click without changing the system settings. The feature worked successfully for 8 months, after which Microsoft lost patience and released update KB5025221.
According to Gizmodo, every time the user opened Chrome, the Windows system settings window appeared with an option to choose the default browser. Literally the same thing happened every time the link was clicked—but only if Chrome was selected by default. Nothing of the sort happened with Edge, for example. However, the problem spread to entire organizations and administrators quickly made the connection with the advent of a new operating system update.
Users of home versions of Windows were not affected as badly. However, the button that allowed Chrome to be the default browser with a single click no longer works – although some have managed to get around Microsoft’s barriers by changing the Chrome app’s name, indicating that that the obstacle was created specifically against the world’s most popular browsers. As a result, Google had to remove the button, eliminating the pop-up problem. Microsoft is not commenting on the situation.
Mozilla has a similar button that lets you switch browsers, and it works, but the company says Firefox has also been hit repeatedly by all sorts of restrictive barriers.
According to experts, such behavior is quite typical for Microsoft. Earlier this year, Microsoft began integrating full-width ads into Google Chrome search results, noting that “there is no need to change the default browser”. In addition, the company has even integrated Edge ads into the Chrome download site to remind you that Edge is built on the same engine and has additional security features.
When Windows 11 was launched in 2021, users had to choose the default browser for different types of links separately. However, after some time the situation improved. In general, the browser wars are reminiscent of the situation in the 1990s, when the US Department of Justice had to intervene to put an end to Microsoft’s anti-competitive practices. Edge, on the other hand, lost second place in the desktop browser rankings to Apple’s Safari in April this year.