Vivaldi co-founder and CEO Jon von Tetzchner criticized the Microsoft Edge browser promotion tactics as "desperate", "anti-competitive" and "familiar." Here are some of the highlights from his blog post.
Microsoft’s moves seem desperate. And familiar. It is clear they don’t want you to use other browsers. They even offer to pay you to use the browser via their Microsoft Rewards program. This is not the behavior of a confident company developing a superior browser. It’s the behavior of a company openly abusing its powerful position to push people to use its inferior product, simply because it can. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Can you say monopoly?
Tetzchner also argues that Microsoft is afraid to compete on equal terms. It recalls Microsoft's fight against Netscape Navigator in the early days of consumer-facing web browsers.
In fact, Microsoft's software policy affects all browsers, not only Vivaldi. Windows 11 users already know that changing the default browser in the newest OS is hell on the earth. Mozilla Firefox is the only software that managed to defeat the restrictive changes and simplify the process to one click.
Even on Windows 10, when you change the browser from Edge to some other one, you will see extra prompts trying to convince you to go back with Edge.
Finally, even if you successfully set your favorite browser as your default browser, certain links will continue open in Edge! This includes links in widgets on Windows 11, and links in apps and Settings on both Windows 11 and Windows 10. Microsoft is happy with the latter behavior and is not going to change it.
That's obvious that browser makers are upset with such things, so Tetzchner's feelings are understandable. Under users' pressure, Microsoft has added an extra button to switch the browser on Windows 11 Preview builds, but the rest of Edge-promotional tricks remained intact and still active.
Tetzchner said the following in the concluding part of the publication.
"Naturally we encourage you to choose Vivaldi, because we think it offers you the best options for privacy, productivity and customization. But, unlike Microsoft, we firmly believe that the choice should be yours,"...
You may or may not be a Vivaldi user, but I think many would agree that browser enforcement is not what you might expect from an operating system. Microsoft is targeting all browsers, generating a lot of backlash from both users and software developers.
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