Windows 11 Is Making It Absurdly Difficult to Change BrowsersIn a page ripped right out of the '90s, Microsoft reminds us that it's still engaging in the browser wars.
[....] there have been plenty of chances to dive into the OS to see what's next from Microsoft. And there's evidence of the same old story. Namely, Microsoft wants to make it hard for you to use a browser that isn't Edge.The Verge reports on how convoluted the new process is to change the default browser in Windows 11. Like in Windows 10, you'll get a prompt when you click on a web link asking you to choose an app. But unless you specifically tell the system that you'd like to switch browsers, it will assume you're okay with Microsoft Edge as the default.[....] It gets worse: if you don't remember on the initial pop-up, you'll have to dig into the settings to change the default app for every specific file type. This can get tedious! It means you'll have to tell Windows which app should open an HTM, HTML, PDF, SVG, and XHTML file—and that's only a sampling of the file types that a browser can open. Additional screenshots show Windows 11 still nags the user to try Microsoft Edge when switching browsers.
[....] there have been plenty of chances to dive into the OS to see what's next from Microsoft. And there's evidence of the same old story. Namely, Microsoft wants to make it hard for you to use a browser that isn't Edge.
The Verge reports on how convoluted the new process is to change the default browser in Windows 11. Like in Windows 10, you'll get a prompt when you click on a web link asking you to choose an app. But unless you specifically tell the system that you'd like to switch browsers, it will assume you're okay with Microsoft Edge as the default.
[....] It gets worse: if you don't remember on the initial pop-up, you'll have to dig into the settings to change the default app for every specific file type. This can get tedious! It means you'll have to tell Windows which app should open an HTM, HTML, PDF, SVG, and XHTML file—and that's only a sampling of the file types that a browser can open. Additional screenshots show Windows 11 still nags the user to try Microsoft Edge when switching browsers.
From the same people who brought us IE 6, the bane of web developers everywhere, now comes Edge — the browser with the swirl toilet flushing icon.
I thought it was a delicious Tide pod.
I think Sanjay needs to have a movie night in.
Seriously, won’t this land them in the same place as back in the 2000s?
Microsoft isn't as dominant as it was back then, even on desktop.
The DoJ doesn't care anyway.
No because now they make sure Congress gets their bribes contributions.
Turns out the voters don't mind about corruption.
I think Microsoft needs to go back to user interface "kindergarten". Probably coding and OS design kindergarten as well.
Lock these people in a room with nothing but MacOS 7.5.5 and Microsoft Windows 95. Preferably with no Internet connection. Then they will actually have to "use" the computers rather than just shitting on "social" media sites.
Then they might try and actually understand why things are the way they are (or were and should be).
Any "developer" that actually belongs in the marketing department needs to be shot in to space.
I'm still baffled by the illogic of some Windows 10 dialogs (such as the select application to open a document dialog) that has no cancel or close button but expects you to click OUTSIDE of the dialog to close it. Clicking outside the dialog used to be a very bad thing to do as you might send the application to the background, with that dialog still stuck open, which was sometimes a pain to clear up. But somehow they want to make this bad, inconsistent behavior "normal".
Microsoft has lost it.
I've heard many terms for that body part, but "space" is new even to me.
Considering they have to have stretched their anatomy to Goatse-esque proportions to fit their collective head up it, it kind of fits!
It only fits if they've stretched enough.
In 2016 the maleability just wasn't there and we got an anal fissure erupting red GAGA everywhere!
I'm still baffled by the illogic of some Windows 10 dialogs (such as the select application to open a document dialog) that has no cancel or close button but expects you to click OUTSIDE of the dialog to close it.
I'm afraid this is a touch UI idiom. It's bad. And it seems to be here to stay.
I never even thought to try that! I just hit ESC, which seems to work for getting out of the dialog. Can't escape windows as easily.
You're right, that sucks. I just submitted a feedback item on it.
A large part of the problem is self preservation. If a UI "just works" and is "easy to understand" you would hope that they would leave it as is. Unfortunately, if they do not peddle the idea of change they will end up with nothing to do (eventually) and out of work.
Sometimes it is not the choice of the developer... A marketing rep or CxO comes by and says... see that big area wasted by a menu? We need to make it smaller (or completely remove it) so that we have more space to sell ads.
As an aside to this point... I remember one project meeting years ago with the user reps... We were discussing a pretty important web-based form with instructions on the page. All the instructions were important so of course, they were all designed to be colored red, (iirc, there was not anything left to be a normal dialog color.) And ofc, a few parts were really important, so they were bold. The designers came up with a screen mock up and the users basically liked it but complained that a few of the extra important instructions did not stand out. In reality, they should have toned down some of the less important instructions to let the others stand out more... but I mad a dry joke of "we can make those lines flash" expecting people to groan at me, but instead the users loved the idea and it made it all the way to the final implementation and is likely still flashing on the page today. (So yes, that one is my fault.)
And of course there is the designers own opinion which changes everything from the past on a whim. This includes the "Oh, I don't like high contrast text; lets make it fade into the background;" and the "Well, I don't use that button so lets get rid of it, who cares if others find it useful." Of course the self-engrossed pretentious a-holes that think that everyone else has horrible designs and only theirs have any value tend to make things a lot worse. They are the ones that remove anything useful from a design to make it pretty and "get rid of clutter" by hiding all menus and dialogs behind a little dot or two that is impossible to find on a screen. Of course these are people that are fascinated with their own rose scented feces; and only care about the perceived beauty; they are not the ones that provide end user support to people that can't find a button that allows them to get the actual work done.
Until UI/UX starts to include actual usefulness to end users instead of just it looks pretty, this will continue non-stop. Note... UX used to mean this long ago but it seems to be forgotten by most right now.
I partially blame their obsession with trying to beat Apple and Google in the phone game. MS jettisoned a lot of good UI conventions in order to shoehorn Windows into being a phone/tablet-first OS. What ended up happening was a worst-of-all-worlds situation.
It's still about 4 years 'til support for Win10 ends. In other words, 4 years before anyone with half a brain downgrades to 11.
In the meantime, MS will change and soften up a lot of things when they notice that their new OS is about as popular as foot fungus, and by then, third party tools to mitigate the worst shortcomings will be available, too.
Didn't you learn anything from Win10?
Hey, maybe the last thing I'll need to learn from Microsoft will have been with Win10. Win11, even crappier. Switch to Linux.
I figure I'm about 5 years from retirement. I have to use Windows at work, so by your estimate, I may spend the last year or so of work enduring Windows 11. That should create just enough inefficiency to keep me employed at the end.
Well, let's put it that way. I work in IT security. I lovingly call Windows "my eternal job security".
FWIW, Win7 still works. It took some diligence to prevent it updating to 10, but it's still supported by everything that counts. It hasn't seen a security update for a scary long time now, but it still works. Anyone who has installation media lying around with SP1 slipstreamed into it can probably do well for some time to come. Those who are concerned about antivirus will find that Win7 versions are still available, and regularly updated.
I really don't know what we're going to do when Win7 finally craps out.
"I really don't know what we're going to do when Win7 finally craps out."
Actually start switching off it and telling windows users to stuff it if they aren't using cross-platform data formats.
Keep running it in a VM in perpetuity on top of whatever.
Is always forcing everyone to use their fisher price quality software.
Windows is certainly a toy OS, but at least Fisher Price (used to?) make good quality toys, some of which have held up to generations of kids' abuse!
I was strictly speaking about how it looks all round and soft and toyish.
Windows XP was the first Microsoft OS to have the Fisher Price theme! The thick blue window title bars with childish control icons. The task bar. Etc.
It's been so long you might have to google for images of Windows XP. But really looks like a fisher price theme for the OS.
Oh I know that is why I still call it that. They have never gotten away from it. Windows 95/98 and the first mistake edition were all considered blocky and ugly so microsoft over compensated and continue to do it to this day.
In general, my instinct is to do the complete opposite when someone tries forcing some bullshit on me, and this has served me well. True motives with these fucking E-Corps are already questionable, to say the very least. The level of aggression reveals the motive since it's so painfully obvious how all this shit is premeditated and intentional by design. If some product is truly better than it will stand on its own merit without having it forced upon someone.
I guess I'm done with Windows.
And good grief. I had an email yesterday I was trying to compose in Outlook. I wanted to delete a section towards the end, so I selected it, deleted it, and along with it, Outlook randomly lops off a paragraph from the top of the email! Same damned thing Word's been doing since 2014. WTF did they break? Everything was fine in Office 2012, and I like the ribbon. But just randomly deleting shit half way across the document?!
I'm working in a Micros~1 shop atm. I can't even use LibreOffice, which was my workaround for Office 2014+'s fucking b0rk3nness at my last gig. Next job can't be Micros~1. I'm sick of it. I'll take a pay cut. I'll move out of this part of the country I love. It'll always be just a road trip away after all. But I just can't keep doing this Micros~1 shit. It's broken. It's all just fucking broken, bloated broken ass shit. My hair is turning grey and reminding me of my mortality. Better things to do, better ways to earn my keep and practice my art.
The forced updates and reboots are really just the tip of the iceberg. I guess I'll just find a better hobby than video games. Plenty of stuff to read, new interesting fiction coming out all the time. Malazan Book of the Fallen was amazing (all 10k+ pages lol), and a friend has been bugging me nonstop for the past few weeks to read Project Hail Mary. I could teach myself Koine Greek and finally start attempting a self-education in the liberal arts, or I've got enough money now (and audio recording is easy enough these days for the rape culture crap and the sexual harassment rape culture will spew at me again because I was assigned to the male gender caste) I could just to go back to school to study the skills of a free person.
Been off Microsoft's useless crap since 1999: Linux all the way and never had a problem. Microsoft pushes crap you REALLY don't need, you just THINK you need it...there are options.
Get off. Now. RUN! Allons'y!
I guess I'll just find a better hobby than video games.
There are video games that run under Linux.And not just low-quality free ones.Apparently Steam has quite a few available.Mind you, paying for something is no guarantee that it's worth paying for.
I've found that most windows games will run in steams proton, normally the only real problems come up with EAC or simular.I'm playing through fallout 1 via proton atm via proton. So the good old games often work well too.
... and in conjunction with Steam Deck release, Valve is trying to get EAC and BattlEye to play nice with Linux. If that succeeds, the library opens up way more.Granted, losing the bullshit DRM (and maybe just relying on login credentials) would be one hell of a lot better.
So far the new "features" aren't anything I really care about.
On the other hand, I have no desire to run TPM (or whatever it's called). All it means to me is it's harder to dual boot Linux.
I also don't want to use Edge. I like my browser and, if you try to drag me kicking and screaming to your browser, then I'll just boot Linux to surf the web.
I'd sooner make my own Linux web browsing kiosk than be forced onto Microsoft Edge/Chrome.
I'm so fucking tired of this incompetent journalistic sensationalistic bullshit. A handful of alternative browser makers make a public statement, and automatically every tech news outlet and his dog just repeat verbatim the narrative without any verification or nuancing.
First of all: Windows 11 makes changes to the way every application handles associations, not just browsers.
"Absurdly difficult" ?? Settings, Apps, Default apps. Then select your application, and select which extensions in the list are to be associated with it. How "absurdly" difficult is that ? Granted, in Windows 10, there was one less step because Windows automatically associated every extension to your app, but that led to some undesirable consequences in some instances. One could argue the new way Windows 11 handles this gives the user more control, not less.
How may of these tech site journalists actually have a working copy of Windows 11 ? Well, I have, and it's my daily driver.
And how many of the Windows bashers that replied to this thread so far have actually used Windows 11 ? I'll give you a rough estimate: None.
Now, I have no doubt that my post will soon be downmodded to hell in the blink of an eye. After all, anyone who's not adhering to the "Windows is shit and Microsoft is evil" narrative must be silenced, regardless of wether their comments are based on actual, first hand experience, right ?
AC your experience matches mine. They could combine the associations for It does seem a little silly not to combine http and https but it's not a terrible experience.
(Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft, therefore my opinion is invalid.)
It is not about control. It is about ease of use. There are a lot of file types associated with the browser. Being able to individually associate each one with a different browser is definitely more control, but it is a terrible user experience. Any remotely competent UI development team would have said "Do we really need all this complexity?" If the answer was yes, then they would have built a system based on progressive disclosure, where there is a control to switch default browsers, which changes all file types associated with the browser, and then also having a separate page that allows control on a per file type level.The fact the Microsoft chose to do it this way reeks of a deliberate choice to make it harder for the user to do something because it reduces Microsoft's control.A deliberate choice that Microsoft has made in the past, and has been prosecuted for making in the past.
And allow the user/administrator to create 'logical groups' for file associations, and as an added feature, allow the export/import of groups from a textfile for easy recreation on a new system. Another useful feature would be the ability to have multiple groups with overlapping file associations and trigger the 'open with' dialog for those apps until/unless a primary default is selected.
That said: I can't even be bothered to use the modern bloated linux distros anymore. I'm back to use my 90s style desktops full-time with a windowmanager that can run in 64 megs of ram and occasional gratuitous use of enlightenment 17-2x when I want to game/web browse and have an on-screen fps meter/compositing.
Whatever Windows is about, "ease of use" is not in the top 1,000.
I used Windows 10 for the first time yesterday. I have not used Windows since XP.
I found the experience similar to trying to organise the garden during a dog fight.
You go round and round in loops making no progress at all.
As I have said many times
since Windows 1
Having a mess of squares on the screen which move around while you are trying to click them
might be a way to amuse 5 year olds, but to an adult who is trying to install a printer,
they just instil rage. I thought CUPS was annoying, but at least it is possible to make
it work. Its not just "WTF did they do with/to Start", finding downloads, or indeed any
part of the directory structure is near impossible. You are conned into signing your life
away to a multitude of irrelevant institutions just to clear the crap off the screen,
and you appear to need administrator privileges to open files you don't even
want open. I am not surprised people accidentally install malware. I am surprised
anyone manages to get a laser printer to work.
I told the owner of the offending/offensive machine they should get someone else
to help them or I would install BSD 2.11 on it. And had a very large brandy.
"Absurdly difficult" ?? Settings, Apps, Default apps.
Nice. That's how it's apparently supposed to work.
For some reason, I decided to play around with Win11 in virtual machines. I've installed half a dozen (or more) machines now. In one machine, it works as you say it should work. In another machine, it simply doesn't. You walk through the steps, close all the windows, and you believe that $favoritebrowser is now default. Right up until you click a link somewhere, and Edge pops up again.
Yes, it's absurdly difficult to customize Win11 to your taste.
Oh, wait - did you think that Edge was the only application to do that? Believe me, there's more.
How about you fire up DISM, and uninstall some of the baggage? Guess what - you've got to turn off updates, or all the baggage will be tossed right back at you. OK, maybe not all the baggage, I've not seen XBox crap reinstalled, but you get the idea.
And, privacy? Win11 is the most invasive operating system I've ever seen. We only thought that Win10 was bad.
And, privacy? Win11 is the most invasive operating system I've ever seen. We only thought that Win10 was bad.
Would you kindly elaborate?
Start with all of the telemetry of Win10, and add a little more.
Throw in an IE-like browser that is embedded into the system, and impossible to uninstall by any means. The browser reports things that telemetry misses. That browser defaults to Bing search, Bing maps, Bing everything, and it is difficult to change them. (As I pointed out above, not every installation is equally difficult to change defaults, but the default is to be difficult.)
Add a dozen desktop applications (XBox, Voice, Camera, chat, and more) all designed to keep you inside the walled garden - and make each of them report usage back to Microsoft.
Mind, now, that this is Win11 Pro. People running Pro have tools available that they are expected to know how to use, starting with DISM. Wait for the Home edition, the Ultimate edition, and whatever else Microsoft decides to offer. Users won't have all the tools available in Pro, such as group policy editor, to mitigate the spying. Worse, users won't likely know how to use such tools if they are available.
Back to Edge for a moment. Do a fresh install, fire up Edge, and do a search for "download Firefox". Number one top hit (from Bing) will be, "Microsoft recommends that you use Edge as your default browser to keep you safe on the internet" or words to that effect. FUD is just FUD.
Then search for chat applications, such as Hexchat. You've grown somewhat accustomed to Microsoft referring to applications as "apps". So, you want Hechat. You click on the github link, and you see "windows 10 app". Click on it because "app", and you're taken to the Microsoft Store. Here, you learn that you can download it for $9.99. But, I thought Hexchat was free? Free as in beer, and free as in rights? Gotta scroll down a bit to find the disclaimer that Hexchat is free, and payment is optional. But, back to Github. You can download "Win7+ installer" for Hexchat. Yeah, it works, but I was mislead for a short bit because "app". But, Microsoft owns Github, so putting up some psychological guidance to purchase a free application from the Microsoft store makes sense. And, either way, you can be sure that you are being tracked and logged, and Microsoft knows exactly what is installed on your system.
It goes on - but I haven't actually documented anything at all. Each person has to experience Win11, and make up their own minds. Personally, using Win11 as a daily driver would drive me bonkers.
You've grown somewhat accustomed to Microsoft referring to applications as "apps". So, you want Hechat. You click on the github link, and you see "windows 10 app". Click on it because "app", and you're taken to the Microsoft Store. Here, you learn that you can download it for $9.99. But, I thought Hexchat was free? Free as in beer, and free as in rights? Gotta scroll down a bit to find the disclaimer that Hexchat is free, and payment is optional.
And you are surprised mass shootings are a thing in America?
This is experienced computer user thinking. "I know what I want my computer to do, get this other crap out of my way."
Novices and several other types of people are more likely to think, "Look at all the neat stuff that comes with my new computer!"
If it helps, I'm firmly in the experienced user camp. I stifle my nerd rage multiple times a month to keep using Windows. But Microsoft does this for solid reasons.
Thanks for the run down, that was interesting (you’re already at +5). I think Win10 is to be my last at home.
Actually this is ALREADY in windows 10.:Settings - Apps -> Default Apps, scroll to the bottom past the option to set "email", "maps", "music", "web" ... and there are three "advanced" options:
Choose default apps by file type --> to get a list of filetypes and the option to set the app for eachChoose default apps by protocol --> to get a list of protocols and the option to set the app for eachSet Defaults by app --> displays a list of apps, select one, click manage, get a list of filetypes and protocls supported by the app* and gives you the ability to set them all.
This last option makes it pretty easy, select firefox, select manage then select everything supported by firefox to go to firefox.When I click Firefox it lists:
.htm, .html, .pdf, .shtml, .svg, .webp, .xht, .xhtml, HTTP, HTTPS, MAILTO
most are set to Firefox, .html is set to Visual Studio Code, .pdf is set to acrobate reader DC, .svg oddly is set to Edge, .webp oddly is set to chrome, and MAILTO is set to Outlook.
I doubt I've ever clicked a locally saved .svg or .webp file or I'd have pointed them at something else by now.
** I'm not clear how it "knows" what file extensions and protocols a given app supports, to create the list. A database?
I admit I generally liked the "shortcuts" in windows 10 to switch all the handlers for "Email" or "Web" or web or "Video" but it never caught everything, and you still needed to go into the more advanced panels even to switch fairly common stuff like PDF. (or remap it via the right-click menu -> Open With -> tick "Always" method). At any rate, if this is what counts as "Absurdly difficult" then just give up at life, I don't know how you operate a can opener or tie your shoes.
if you don't remember on the initial pop-up, you'll have to dig into the settings to change the default app for every specific file type. This can get tedious! It means you'll have to tell Windows which app should open an HTM, HTML, PDF, SVG, and XHTML file—and that's only a sampling of the file types that a browser can open. Additional screenshots show Windows 11 still nags the user to try Microsoft Edge when switching browsers.
I wonder if this applies to text editors/IDEs. Like if you install visual code editor will it try to steal the file associations from arduino ide or if you install sublime text editor or a ms port of emacs will it try to steal file associations and set to notepad?
convoluted the new process is to change the default browser
As a techie end user.
The thing is, who's MS's market in general? The mega huge companies that haven't moved to mac laptops yet will just issue a GPO thing in their domain to set it, the users will never know, just suddenly every corporate IT owned desktop runs chrome or is banned from ever running chrome or whatever authoritarian nightmare.
Yes I know its like 75% meme, but "software developers all use macbooks never windows".
The home users either don't care as long as facebook and onlyfans "looks right" but mostly they're running Steam or something anyway, "websites are for phones" and all that.
My kids school district is essentially all chromebook/ipad, they don't even do "development" locally its all dartpad.dev and so forth. Kids world these days is all Wevideo and onshape, nobody does local video editing or local CAD. Have you seen the mbed OS internet online compiler? Holy cow doing embedded development on a website instead of local. Locally running apps is pretty much dead at this time. MS is almost completely dead educationally other than office365 online in a web browser for "business class" students to learn Excel.
"Yes I know its like 75% meme, but "software developers all use macbooks never windows".
Those are called dumb whores. Real developers/programmers use Gnu+Linux or BSD.
"Yes I know its like 75% meme, but "software developers all use macbooks never windows".Those are called dumb whores. Real developers/programmers use Gnu+Linux or BSD.
Those are called dumb whores. Real developers/programmers use Gnu+Linux or BSD.
Come now, I find a macbook to be perfectly adequate to use for SSH'ing into a real system.
Huh? The art department and web designers who *may* do some coding
always use Macs and never Windows. Developers may use Macs, but the argument
is more likely to be "Windows or Linux". This
survey is getting stale [stackoverflow.com] and you have to take it with a grain of salt to
begin with, but it has 50% of the surveyed developers using some kind of Windows.
I imagine it's take a hit over the last 5 years, but how bit a hit? And did it
really hit that hard towards Macs and not Linux?
In my experience most developers prefer macs given the choice. At my work they just banned Linux and I've found that the macs are tolerable. At least I can do my work on them (unlike Windows.) I've even known places where they use "We'll give you a mac and when it's time for a replacement you don't have to send back your old one" as an incentive.
Is it closing your chrome/ff/whatever instances and forcing you into edge? No? What's the big deal then?
I use linux, and purposely have no mimeopen shit installed, it's pointless stuff for lazy incompetents.
And they still can't make a decent browser for toffee, even after stealing chromium and slapping their on logo on it. I still have nightmares about their original edge.
Windows 11 Is Making It Absurdly Difficult to Change Browsers do anthing