Microsoft Windows 10 Default App Settings Might Have Sparked Browser War 2.0

On Friday an anonymous Microsoft employee reported that Windows 10 had been installed on 67 million PCs, which is surprising given that the OS was released to the public less than a week ago. Now those are some pretty impressive figures, but it seems like there is already a bit of stink being brought up by Mozilla about some of Microsoft’s express settings when installing the operating system.

The Big Stink

For most users, upgrading to Windows 10 is a relatively simple process, and most people will typically select the express install method. Mozilla, the guys behind the Firefox web browser, believe this is because the option to personalize the installation settings is subtly parked in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Now, that doesn’t seem to be a very good reason to be upset. After all, what company wouldn’t want to make it effortless for their users to upgrade to the newest iteration of their software? The issue lies in the fact that when a user selects the express installation method, it overrides the user’s previous default applications. What does it replace it with? Microsoft’s Windows Edge browser and Groove music.

Mozilla Believes This is an Aggressive Move

In a recent blog post, Chris Beard, CEO of Mozilla, went over why this is an offense against user choice. Beard accurately points out that it takes twice as many clicks to set default applications as in previous versions of the operating system.

Prior, a user only needed to open up a program that wasn’t set as the default and the operating system would prompt the user to set the program as a default if they wished to do so.

“These changes aren’t unsettling to us because we’re the organization that makes Firefox. They are unsettling because there are millions of users who love Windows and who are having their choices ignored, and because of the increased complexity put into everyone’s way if and when they choose to make a choice different than what Microsoft prefers,” said Beard in an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Take the Power Back with Windows 10

Microsoft stands by its design decision stating, “We designed Windows 10 to provide a simple upgrade experience for users and a cohesive experience following the upgrade.”

For users who want to make sure they retain all of their default preferences, their best bet is to make sure they think ahead before upgrading. During the installation wizard, users will be prompted to select the express install method, but at the bottom of the screen is a custom settings button. Clicking this will allow a user to choose their own default apps rather than assuming the default programs in Windows 10.

Do you believe Microsoft’s expressing settings are nefarious or all in good nature?

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