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posted by martyb on Friday August 20 2021, @12:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the tigers-never-change-their-stripes dept.

Windows 11 Is Making It Absurdly Difficult to Change Browsers
In 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 fileā€”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.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20 2021, @03:54PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20 2021, @03:54PM (#1168861)

    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.

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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20 2021, @05:58PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20 2021, @05:58PM (#1168939)

    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.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Dr Spin on Friday August 20 2021, @10:29PM

    by Dr Spin (5239) on Friday August 20 2021, @10:29PM (#1169071)
    It is about ease of use.

    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

    • if you use dropdown menus with English words in, only English speakers will know what the options are.
    • OTOH, if you use Icons, no one will know what the options are, probably even after they have tried all of them several times. Icons work reasonably well for three options: Ladies, Gentlemen, Dogs seems to work quite well on most toilets, all though I prefer our local "Women, Men, Amen". Not sure why pictures were required. IME they are of no use to blind people.

    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.

    Warning: Opening your mouth may invalidate your brain!