back to article Windows 10 to force you to use Edge, even if it isn't default browser

Microsoft’s about to test a new feature of Windows 10 that will force users to employ its Edge browser under some circumstances. Revealed in the announcement of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17623 for Skip Ahead, the change means “we will begin testing a change where links clicked on within the Windows Mail app will open in …

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  1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Fucking idiots

    It's like the 90s never happened.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fucking idiots

      "The Register imagines few comments Redmond receives will be printable." FTFY

      You see, outside of Redmond "the 90s happened."

      Inside of Redmond, the unicorns all have Rosa Klebb horseshoes, dead eyes, and those horns are forever giving n*z* salutes.

      1. Agamemnon

        Re: Fucking idiots

        I keep telling ya'll, I'm a xNIX Admin that lives in Redmond (I'll be in prison for homicide before decade's close, I'm sure).

        The Kool-Aid here is rampant, and most Macro$loppies working now aren't old enough to remember the Anti-Trust suit.

        And this administration's DOJ doesn't seem too willing to reign in business so, I'll just say it to get it out of the way: Install BSD or Linux and call it an afternoon.

        Oh, and "Edge" is the most secure browser because nobody fucking uses it.

        1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

          Re: Fucking idiots

          RE: "Oh, and "Edge" is the most secure browser because nobody fucking uses it."

          I'm tempted to say that Linux is the most secure OS because nobody fucking uses it. Once its usage becomes large enough and it escapes the control of a small group of people - see Linux based Android for an example - I'm sure the sense of security we all wallow in will vanish in a puff of pink unicorn smoke and our shibboleth will topple off its pedestal like the hollow plaster god it is.

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Fucking idiots

          "The Kool-Aid here is rampant"

          I've been to the Microsoft (Redmond) campus more often than I'd like -- it is a supremely creepy place that exudes that "cult" vibe everywhere. I hate going there. On the other hand, I hate it a little bit less than having to be in SV.

    2. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: Fucking idiots

      AFAIR I changed the Desktop Background to a nerve-relaxing darkgreen with tiles showing in black I hate Microsoft - I hate Microsoft - I hate Microsoft in five-pixel high microfont for every Microsoft Windows® PC where I could do that.

      MS gave me always the feeling I had only a teaspoon to hammer a nail in a wall, where UX gave me a toolkit with the lightest and most elegant tools to a sledgehammer.

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Fucking idiots

        AFAIR I changed the Desktop Background to a nerve-relaxing darkgreen with tiles showing in black I hate Microsoft - I hate Microsoft - I hate Microsoft in five-pixel high microfont for every Microsoft Windows® PC where I could do that.

        You need this for wallpaper...

        http://www.kmfms.com/main-logo.jpg

    3. EarthDog

      Look on the bright side.

      We can party like it's 1999 and 9/11 hasn't happened yet.

    4. OffBeatMammal

      Re: Fucking idiots

      funnily enough people have no problem giving Apple a pass for doing exactly this same shit throughout iOS - you can't choose your mapping app, your browser, your mail app, your calendar etc. And because of this Microsoft starts to think it's okay to inch back to forcing users into using their second rate apps because Apple has got away with that behaviour for so long.

      I use full-fat Outlook (because the Win10 inbox mail app is a half-arsed mess) and will be seriously grumpy if they start hijacking links there to point to Edge instead of my default Brave ... at the end of the day I don't care about what browser I actually use, but I want the one that keeps my history etc in sync and has a UI that doesn't suck... Edge ain't that.

      So... yes it sucks MS are doing this, but if we're going to get outraged there let's make sure Apple also feel which way the wind blows

      https://medium.com/@offbeatmammal/apple-are-a-design-company-so-why-is-ios-so-annoying-d40530dce8d9

      (and no, this still won't usher in the era of desktop Linux. For all the great advances that have been made in the last few years it's still not the no-brain install that Windows is for the vast majority of users)

      1. wallaby
        Pint

        Re: Fucking idiots

        Have a pint OffBeatMammal

        exactly my point on here, Microsoft does it - out come the penguins on a rant

        anyone else does it - silence

        and yes, no year of Linux on the desktop - thank goodness - Id hate to have to consult the whining masses when I have a tricky issue, esp. one that involves integration in a Microsoft environment

        1. Maventi

          Re: Fucking idiots

          > exactly my point on here, Microsoft does it - out come the penguins on a rant

          > anyone else does it - silence

          Incorrect - they are all taking the piss. Apple on iOS. MS with their apps (Cortana, now Mail, etc). Google with things like Hangouts.

          All are user-hostile decisions.

        2. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Fucking idiots

          Penguin on a Rant?

          exactly my point on here, Microsoft does it - out come the penguins on a rant

          What, apple do it on their expensive phone?

          The iphone may be the most well-known, but not the de-facto standard interface for phones the way Windows is for desktops.

          Penguins are often required to use Windows more often than IOS in work or friend/family support, so Microsofts stupid decisions affect us too.

          We don't always come out to put the boot in MS merely for sadism alone you know...

        3. FreeRadical

          @wallaby Re: Fucking idiots

          The difference is that Apple has always been a "closed box" environment where they control everything, and Windows USED TO BE an "open box" where you could customize settings, choose updates, etc. This is the reason I am not an Apple fan, and went with Windows in the first place. With Windows 10, Microsoft if trying to transition Windows into a "closed box", which is why people are pissed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fucking idiots

        Agreed, Apple should also be called to answer on bundling and tying of products and services.

        It's not going to happen in trump America, where both companies have protected status. However the EU should really be investigating both companies for this.

        1. Remy Redert

          Re: Fucking idiots

          The EU did investigate both of them some time ago. That's where the mandatory browser selection screen came from. And a few years back when they investigated Apple, they decided that Apple didn't have a big enough market share to worry about possible monopoly abuse. If you don't like iOs forcing you to use inferior apps, don't get an iOs based device.

          1. Zippy's Sausage Factory
            Meh

            Re: Fucking idiots

            Speaking as a Penguin who also owns Apple and Windows kit (as well as an old copy of OS/2 in the back of a cupboard), I personally don't care that much. I can see why antitrust people might care, however, as it is an attempt to leverage their position to distort a market.

            Apple's iOS stance is basically around security, and not wanting battery/space munching web rendering engines loaded on iOS when theirs is already painful enough, thank you. And they might support Flash too, which would be worse.

            Fun fact: Adobe Flash comes pre-installed on Windows 10 and you can't remove it without butchering the system. Given that you can remove that small slice of purgatory that is OneDrive from Programs & Features, I wonder how much Adobe are paying for that little privilege?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: people have no problem giving Apple a pass for doing exactly this same shit

        Well, for me at least there is a difference - notably, I've never been forced to use an Apple product, but have been forced to use MS ones.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

        Apple provide iOS installed an hardware they make.

        Microsoft provide a generic OS that can be installed on any (compatible) hardware.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Spanners Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

            No. Apple do not get a free pass from me. They are an appalling bunch of lawyer loving crooks who give MS wet dreams about locking down their users.

            My response - never buy from Apple, don't recommend Apple and point out that Apple phones are no better than Samsung, OnePlus etc but do include the standard Apple "gullibility tax".

            No. Apple does not get a pass.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

            Apple do the exact same thing as Microsoft here

            Huge difference: People choose to use Apple.

            (I chose not to - I chose choice)

            1. David Nash Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

              Huge difference: People choose to use Apple.

              Or they choose to use MS. What's the difference?

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

                "Or they choose to use MS"

                Very few people choose to use Windows -- Windows is just what comes on the machines people buy. To use Apple requires an active choice rather than merely acceptance of the default.

                I think it's fair to say that Apple users, having gone out of their way to choose Apple products, know what they're buying into. I don't think the same is true of most Windows users.

        2. cambsukguy

          Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

          > Microsoft provide a generic OS that can be installed on any (compatible) hardware.

          The important word here is CAN - nobody makes people use Windows - choose from at least four other 'OSs' that work on PCs, one from Apple (macOS?), Linux, ChromeOS (sort of), Android (sort of).

          As we keep hearing here, Windows is not mandatory anymore, if one doesn't like it, choose an alternative.

          If your company makes you use it, it is no different to being forced to use a locked-down PC or a 'special' phone or an old piece of kit you hate, it is part of your job and you decide if it is enough o make you look elsewhere.

          For the masses with 'No Choice', they won't give a shit either way, they know nothing about Browser wars, OSs or anything else, stuff just changes and they carry on or ask for help.

          Personally, I find Edge doesn't massacre my memory and loads pages fast, both things that matter more to me than OS politics.

          1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

            Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

            > As we keep hearing here, Windows is not mandatory anymore, if one doesn't like it, choose an alternative.

            OK so you get a choice of which OS to use but you don't have a choice of which OS you have to pay for. It is very difficult to buy most PC HW without paying for a W10 license. There are also issues with the FW being reluctant to run other OSes.

            1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

              Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

              It is very difficult to buy most PC HW without paying for a W10 license. There are also issues with the FW being reluctant to run other OSes.

              And here is why I no longer buy *NEW* PC kit (laptop or desktop). Some OTHER sucker has already paid the Microsoft Tax, and has gotten rid of the machine because it now runs like crap. I wipe the drive, load Linux, and I'm good to go. And being slightly older hardware means the hardware issues have already been sorted.

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

            "Windows is not mandatory anymore"

            Can you please tell that to my employer?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

              "Windows is not mandatory anymore"

              Can you please tell that to my employer?

              You seem to misunderstand - there is still choice here - just that your employer (who has the right) has taken it for you. They have a choice what browser you use during work time and you have a choice whether or not you work there.

              If your employer bought Apple hardware then your employer loses their choice of browser - but you can still walk out - which I would do if my employer switched to Apple.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

                ugh.

                I started work for a client, who insisted I used Windows. Not even allowed Linux on a VM because "policy".

                I walked out (politely) before lunch, got a call back in the evening after they "reviewed their policy".

                That might sound like me being an ass, but I was actually hired for my Linux expertise to migrate their servers. (18 months on, I'm still with them)

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

            "If your company makes you use it....it is part of your job and you decide if it is enough o make you look elsewhere."

            I have to wonder if you are actually employed. No, it is not part of my job to use a browser forced on me by Microsoft.

            1. Someone Else Silver badge
              FAIL

              @BlockChainToo -- Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

              I have to wonder if you are actually employed. No, it is not part of my job to use a browser forced on me by Microsoft.

              I'm happy for you, I really am. But that doesn't make you any less of a pompous git for not realizing that the rest of the world may not have the same luxury as you. Fat-asses tend to be like that.

          4. Daniel 18

            Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

            "Personally, I find Edge doesn't massacre my memory and loads pages fast, both things that matter more to me than OS politics."

            The new (58) Firefox is faster still and configures well for security and privacy with a load of good extensions (Privacy Badger, Ghostery, NoScript, uBlock origins, etc).

            It is also phenomenal for memory management for those of us who do breadth + depth research on the Internet - a dozen windows with hundreds of open tabs, with no slowdown and memory footprint less than 1 GB. (disclaimer - underlying OS is Linux for me, but if you can get 600 tabs open under Linux, I suspect you may well get half that, at least, under Windows - the Linux Firefox improved quite markedly when they went to the new engine and architecture).

            The new Firefox is also multi-core aware, and will use them while avoiding treading on other processes.

        3. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

          Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

          Apple provide iOS installed an hardware they make.

          Microsoft provide a generic OS that can be installed on any (compatible) hardware.

          You can only get iOS if you buy Apple's HW. MS SW comes on almost everything else. MS also have contracts with just about every other HW manufacturer making it difficult for them to supply non-Window's systems, so it is very difficult to buy a non Apple PC without being forced to buy Windows. MS are considered to be a monopoly and as such are expected to behave in ways minority players aren't. The EU has in the past forced MS to give users a choice about browsers, they then quietly forgot and the EU quietly forgot to enforce the ruling until it became public that there was an issue and they were chided back into action.

          1. Daniel 18

            Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

            "MS also have contracts with just about every other HW manufacturer making it difficult for them to supply non-Window's systems, so it is very difficult to buy a non Apple PC without being forced to buy Windows."

            ... and this is the thing that needs fixing ...

        4. rotokq

          Re: "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

          "no problem giving Apple a pass" - One major difference

          Apple provide iOS installed an hardware they make.

          Microsoft provide a generic OS that can be installed on any (compatible) hardware.

          Not Quite Anonymous, Apple iOS is executable on just about ANY x64 intel or AMD architecture out there. I've already done this with Snow Leopard a long time ago and it was quite easy along with a multi-boot of Ubuntu and (unfortunately) windows 7. If anything it's 'Apple' that should be right up there along with Microsoft on the stump target shooting block as far as I'm concerned for abandoning all of their old software platforms that were brilliant and letting them sit and rot. I'd give both a "Triple-F".

      5. Jon 37

        Re: Fucking idiots

        > funnily enough people have no problem giving Apple a pass for doing exactly this same shit throughout iOS

        Apple iOS is a walled garden. Apple iOS has always been a walled garden. If you buy Apple iOS products you know this and chose it, so it should be no surprise that it is a walled garden. If you build apps to run on Apple iOS products you know this and chose to build the app anyway.

        Microsoft Windows used to be a general-purpose OS that let you install and run whatever software you want, and customize how you want. Microsoft provided some default apps to get you started, which ranged from low-quality but works for the basics (e.g. Notepad) to some okay apps (e.g. the Explorer file manager, Calculator, Internet Explorer, the Start Menu / Taskbar). But you could always customize it and choose what apps you want to use, including replacing all the built-in apps with better competitors. People built competitors to all the built-in apps.

        Microsoft are retroactively changing it, after people have bought it, so you're forced to use the MS web browser. People did not agree to this when they bought Windows. People did not know this when they invested significant money in building competing browsers.

        "I'm altering the deal ... pray I don't alter it any further".

        1. cutterman

          Re: Fucking idiots

          Yeah, and every single graphics program has its own graphics drivers - which might (or might not) work on your hardware…

        2. andyinoz

          Re: Fucking idiots

          They aren't forcing you to use the built in apps. I wonder what percentage of Windows 10 users use the Microsoft Mail app anyway, probably not a lot. And of those the number who care about their browser is probably less than half.

          Assuming you're not using Outlook (which many business users do) there's webmail, Thunderbird, Opera Mail or whatever else if this truly bothers you.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Fucking idiots

            I had another go at leaving that accursed programme last night. But dammit, the calendar thing has me pinned. It's the one way I've found that keeps my calendar synchronised across PC/laptop/tablet/phone. And it can't synchronise calendars with it's "big brother" programme -Outlook 2010.

            The email and contacts are no problem. Thunderbird does fine for the rest of the family

      6. mikeymac

        Re: Fucking idiots

        Apple users are Apple users. They do what their told! (and they like it!).

        1. Emmeran

          Re: Fucking idiots

          Exactly why the best decision I ever made was buying my Ex-Wife an Apple device.

          1. Gpzjock
            Windows

            Re: Fucking idiots

            Surely, a better decision would have been to get her to buy her own Apple device?

            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: Fucking idiots

              > Surely, a better decision would have been to get her to buy her own Apple device?

              No, she would have wound up with the pink one.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fucking idiots

          > Apple users are Apple users. They do what their told! (and they like it!).

          Apple users enjoy paying to do as they're told :-)

          Hey it takes all sorts to make a world and who am I to judge.

        3. Mine's a Large One
          FAIL

          Re: Fucking idiots

          But we know the difference between "their" and "they're" (and "there").

      7. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Apple a pass

        One is a gadget, a phone, a tablet.

        The other is now primarily used for content creation and legacy applications.

        There are alternatives to iPhone/iPad, it has less than 15% of it's market. MS Windows is the dominant OS for laptops & desktop computers, especially in business. Many people feel they have no alternative due to Sage, Payroll, CRM, Adobe high end packages etc.

        Not comparable.

        I already found that "Current" Firefox builds can be Win10 default browser, but even an updated Firefox 52ESR can't be set as default.

        Also Edge isn't even a "proper" desktop application. Even if the most secure today, it may be incompatible or insecure tomorrow. It also breaks easily if Windows Firewall or Store settings are changed.

      8. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Fucking idiots

        "people have no problem giving Apple a pass for doing exactly this same shit throughout iOS"

        If I were forced to use iOS, I certainly wouldn't give Apple a pass on this. But I'm not. I am, however, forced to use Windows.

      9. Fred Tourette
        Linux

        Re: Fucking idiots

        ...this still won't usher in the era of desktop Linux....

        No, and I long ago gave up crusading for same; I'll be happy if there are enough of us Linux desktop users to at least keep it relevant. But as a Linux desktop user - quite a few years now in personal life, albeit work keeps me in Win7 - it is pieces like this that make me smile. We penguinheads may never conquer the universe, but it's still a nice little smug corner of it in which we reside, not only shrugging off most (not all) of the malware that's floating around, but also shrugging off Microsoft (and Apple) making decisions for us whether we like/want them or not.

        1. Jakester

          Re: Fucking idiots

          I have a couple friends who switched to Linux a couple years ago. They had older computers and I recommended they try Linux, Ubuntu, rather than waste money on a new Windows computer. They have very responsive computers that have been problem free and should be good for a few more years, as long as there is no hardware failure. The best part is I get no more requests for help for incessant Windows issues.

          1. grumpy-old-person

            Re: Fucking idiots

            I have done the same and hardly ever hear from users again - except for one fellow who I migrated from Windows 7 on an antique laptop (Windows 10 would not install, no matter how much I tried) who manages to have "issues". Still trying to figure out how he manages this :)

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