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Koby

Microsoft intercepting Firefox and Chrome installation on Windows 10

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sgpoZ3Z.pngWhen you try to install the Firefox or Chrome web browser on a recent Windows 10 version 1809 Insider build, you may notice that the installation gets interrupted by the operating system.

 

The intermediary screen that interrupts the installation states that Edge is installed on the device and that it is safer and faster than the browser that the user was about to install on the device.

 

Options provided are to open Microsoft Edge or install the other browser anyway. There is also an option to disable the warning type in the future but that leads to the Apps listing of the Settings application and no option to do anything about that.

 

While there is certainly a chance that Microsoft is just testing things in preview versions of Windows, it is equally possible that such a setting will land in the next feature update for Windows 10.

 

Companies like Google or Microsoft have used their market position in the past to push their own products. Google pushes Chrome on all of its properties when users use different browsers to connect to them, and Microsoft too displayed notifications on the Windows 10 platform to users who used other browsers that Edge was more secure or power friendly.

 

The intercepting of installers on Windows is a new low, however. A user who initiates the installation of a browser does so on purpose. The prompt that Microsoft displays claims that Edge is safer and faster, and it puts the Open Microsoft Edge button on focus and not the "install anyway" button.

 

It seems likely that such a prompt would result in higher than usual exits from installation if the intercepting prompt lands in stable versions of Windows.

 

There is also a chance that Microsoft would push its own products when users attempt to install other products: think a third-party media player, screenshot tool, image editor, or text editor.

 

While it seems that Microsoft plans to integrate an option to disable these "warnings", it remains to be seen how that will look like. Judging from the current implementation it will be opt-out which means that the intercepting prompts are displayed to all users by default who attempt third-party software installations.

 

Again, this happens only in Windows 10 version 1809 on the Insider channel. Whether the intercepting will land in the soon to be released stable version of Windows 10 version 1809, the October 2018 Update, remains to be seen.

 

Microsoft Edge is not doing so well despite the fact that it is the default web browser on Windows 10. Microsoft stated in 2017 that Edge usage had doubled but third-party usage tracking service still see the browser lag behind Chrome, Firefox and even Internet Explorer in usage share.

 

Microsoft has released Edge for Android and the browser has been well received by Android users.

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That's dodgy. They seem determined to push Edge at every opportunity and I've lost track of the amount of times I've disabled it before an update has re-activated it. I wish they'd get the hint that I don't want their stupid browser because it doesn't offer any features I need. :/

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"Microsoft no longer plans to include this warning in the upcoming Windows 10 October 2018 Update that will ship next month, but that the company may continue to test these types of prompts in future updates."

 

So backing away for the moment, but not out of the game.

 

"The company has also issued notifications to Chrome users in the past warning them that Google’s browser is “draining your battery fast.” LOL I hadn't even heard about this one, but damn...

 

Microsoft also tried to force Windows 10 Mail users to use Edge for all email links, ignoring any default browser set in the operating system. This change was also tested with Windows 10 users and the feedback forced the company to rethink its plans.

 

Wow... totally ignoring "default browser settings". Thankfully feedback made them reverse that change in the past. They seem determined to push their own products at every step of the way until pushed into the corner from backlash. Definitely doesn't seem like they care about the freedom of choice of their consumers.

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40 minutes ago, Tsu.Ku.Yo.Mi said:

Who cares? No one uses Edge anyway.

You apparently didn't read the thread as it has nothing to do with people using Edge, but rather about Microsoft trying to push it's use on people who are choosing other options.

 

As for "no one uses Edge", actually quite a few people just stick to defaults for everything, including web browsers. As of the last consensus report in 2018, about 12% of people on the internet use either IE or Edge.

 

Oddly enough, "best browser" FireFox has seen rapid declines in usage and is down to about 11% of internet users. So technically more people use Microsoft browsers than FireFox these days, despite FireFox arguably being the best option between the "big 3".

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Firefox had a major loss in users after the Quantum version updates. It is a lot slower and resource intensive after that, when it claimed to alleviate those problems. I think most people started switching to Chrome after that. Mictosoft's browsers are still the worst to use, though. Even if they may be faster lately, they aren't really more secure as they claim and many sites can't even be properly used with it. Many even have problems with accessing Funimation or having buferring issues every few seconds on Edge and IE, unlike other browsers.

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16 minutes ago, ragnawind said:

Firefox had a major loss in users after the Quantum version updates. It is a lot slower and resource intensive after that, when it claimed to alleviate those problems. I think most people started switching to Chrome after that. Mictosoft's browsers are still the worst to use, though. Even if they may be faster lately, they aren't really more secure as they claim and many sites can't even be properly used with it. Many even have problems with accessing Funimation or having buferring issues every few seconds on Edge and IE, unlike other browsers.

Quantum seemed to be a bit faster to me than previous builds (especially since it ditched the heavy themed tab setup for a much lighter method), but uses roughly the same amount of ram, which is still less than 1/5 what Chrome uses in my case. I just find the extreme loss of users concerning... Considering as little as 3 years ago, more than 50% of internet users used FireFox and now it's barely in double digits. That is a major drop. On the other spectrum, Safari has seen a huge surge of users adopt it as their browser of choice, as it now sits at roughly 31%.

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3 hours ago, Tsu.Ku.Yo.Mi said:

Who cares? No one uses Edge anyway.

The only other select few who will use it are those who want to stream Netflix 4K :/

 

@Koby yeah I feel a bit of a restrictive Apple vibe here. 

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2 hours ago, Moodkiller said:

@Koby yeah I feel a bit of a restrictive Apple vibe here. 

How so? Are you saying Apple products don't let you install other browsers or something?

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6 hours ago, ragnawind said:

Firefox had a major loss in users after the Quantum version updates. It is a lot slower and resource intensive after that, when it claimed to alleviate those problems. I think most people started switching to Chrome after that. Mictosoft's browsers are still the worst to use, though. Even if they may be faster lately, they aren't really more secure as they claim and many sites can't even be properly used with it. Many even have problems with accessing Funimation or having buferring issues every few seconds on Edge and IE, unlike other browsers.

Exactly. 

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