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    Aside from the creepiness, this just doesn’t make much sense:

    Microsoft wants to push Edge. Sure. It wants to do that to own the Web, to boost sales of Windows by locking out everyone else using ActiveX NT or whatever New Technology What Only Works On Windows. If it gets Edge adoption up to the numbers MSIE had fifteen years ago, it could make a go of that.

    Except fifteen years ago, the iPhone didn’t exist, Android didn’t exist, and practically nobody even tried to surf the Web on the phones they did have. Microsoft has never had a credible modern smartphone, and the era of Web devs being able to ignore mobile devices went out with Nu Metal and jeans you could hide a watermelon in. Microsoft has to know this, so it knows it has, at most, one half of a Nefarious Plan.

    This almost makes sense, and that troubles me.

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      Uhm, you’re discounting how much traffic it will bring to their search engoene bing. AFAIU for search engines traffic is good money.

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        Seems like there would be easier ways to get traffic to a search engine, not to mention ones which wouldn’t make users as angry.

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          To get people to use Bing, Microsoft has to get people to use Edge. You can’t beat the convenience of typing your search terms right into the URL bar, and most people don’t bother changing the defaults (unless they’re prompted to).

          And it’s not just search. Google has been using Chrome to push all of their other products, many of which compete with Microsoft’s. There are no saints here, except maybe Firefox, and look where that’s gotten them.

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            … a decent browser?

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              I think @notriddle is talking about market share :P

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                Ah, fair enough.

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      Were I a Windows user if I had had any doubts about switching browsers before, that right there would clench it for me. It’s like a clingy ex.

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        For the average user this might have some pretty devastating effects. Firefox is in decline despite being technically incredible because they don’t have a powerful platform to leverage.

        It seems plausible that in the future essentially every windows user will use Edge, every Apple user uses Safari and every Android user uses Chrome. Chrome is pretty much the only browser people manually install and thats because it’s constantly pushed on users on all google pages as well as IE being horrible.

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          It’s actually not that bad, as long as all of them agree on a common standard. And now they have to, because otherwise too much of the Web will look broken to too many users. Anything is better than a monoculture, even if it means that Mozilla who’s been pushing for this diversification all these years doesn’t get to claim winning numbers in terms of users. It doesn’t matter. Firefox’s role is to be a constant threat/challenge that keeps other browser developers honest. In a world where we already have 3 major browsers competing besides Firefox, this role just isn’t emphasized.

          And as The Beast, who once saved the world, Firefox will recede to its lair and keep vigil in case any new sons of Mammon arise from the ashes!

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            They aren’t though. Apple regularly invents proprietary web standards when they need them and only switches to open standards when another org makes them.

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            Do you mean that Firefox’s market share numbers are declining?

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          Does this mean the settlement with the European Commision over the anti-competitive practices has expired? BrowserChoice.eu seems now officially deprecated.

          It was only a few years ago that MS got fined for less…

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            Well, they’re not really a monopoly anymore.

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            Anecdote: on Windows 10 Enterprise, Edge occasionally becomes the default browser, even though I deliberately picked Firefox for that role.

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              I have the same version and it has never ever happened to me. So it’s just your installation.

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              About 15 years ago, when MS owned the desktop and therefore overall computing market, and the browser marketshare too, this would seem scarily oppressive. In today’s world where Chrome and Google services dominate the web while Microsoft services are barely an afterthought, and the desktop is slowly losing relevance, and Microsoft’s power along with it, it seems… kind of reasonable.

              I sure don’t want Microsoft to de-facto own the web. But they’re very far away from doing that now. If anything, Google de-facto owns the web, with maybe Facebook, Amazon, and Apple as serious threats. I don’t trust any of them to have that much power. I’m feeling okay with Microsoft getting back into the ring and using what power they still have to knock Google down a peg or two and preserve some amount of market share on the web.

              That said, I still use Android and Chrome and Gmail and a bunch of Google services, and my next laptop may be another Chromebook, so there’s certainly more I could be doing on a personal level to make Google less dominant.

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                Hopefully they start blocking installation of 3rd party browsers entirely, then maybe people would stop using their garbage platform.

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                  Didn’t stop people using iOS

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                  They can do this because Windows is closed-source and no one can fork Windows. Look at the Chrome and WWW situation, Chrome is open source, so if community is actively protesting, they are taking it into account.

                  Morale: use fork-able (open source) software.

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                    Technically speaking, Chromium is open source.

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                        Right but also on the list.

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                          I mean, firefox gets listed because it recommends nonfree software; chromium gets listed because it has unlicensed components (aka proprietary).

                          There’s an important difference there.

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                            Time for GNU IceCat!

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                    I know “year of the linux desktop” is a meme and all, but what can Windows do that some user-friendly Linux distro (Ubuntu, Fedora) can’t? Now that almost everything is in a web browser, being able to run Firefox means you have a full OS for a lot of people.

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                      what can Windows do that some user-friendly Linux distro (Ubuntu, Fedora) can’t?

                      Come preinstalled on a laptop in stores.

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                        Run windows applications. Loads of stuff doesn’t work with wine even if you can figure out how to install it.

                        Support obscure peripherals that only got windows drivers.

                        Video gaming is still second class. I keep a windows nuc just for that. Some stuff runs better on the windows than on my much faster linux desktop.

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                          Not break half of your system on updates.

                          That was my experience when using Linux on the desktop several years ago. It may have improved since then, but various things such as the plethora of init systems, audio systems, etc suggest it hasn’t.

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                            I have a stock-standard machine (intel + nvidia) running ubuntu.

                            It’s been through four dist-upgrades, and two of them (including the most recent one) broke it (dropped into a black screen on boot, requiring a switch to terminal and some googling to fix).