Microsoft already made it difficult to switch default browsers in Windows 11, and now the company is going a step further by banning apps like EdgeDeflector.
Third-party apps like EdgeDeflector and even Firefox have offered Microsoft workarounds to force people to use Edge in Start Menu search results, even if their default browser isn’t Edge.
Microsoft has forced Windows 10 and Windows 11 users into Edge and its Bing search engine in search results on the Start menu, and now with the new Widgets panel in Windows 11.
EdgeDeflector allows you to bypass these restrictions, and open Start Menu search results in the default browser of your choice.
The EdgeDeflector block made its debut in an early preview release of Windows 11 last week. While the ban initially seemed like a bug, Microsoft has now confirmed that the changes will be coming to all Windows 11 users in a software update that will arrive in the coming weeks.
And Microsoft decided to prevent app developers from invoking Microsoft-edge protocol bindings, which are now limited to the Edge browser.
“Windows openly makes apps and services available on its platform, including various web browsers,” says a Microsoft spokesperson. “At the same time, Windows also offers certain end-to-end customer experiences in both Windows 10 and Windows 11, and the taskbar search experience is one example of an overall experience that wasn’t designed to be redirected. When we learn of the incorrect redirect, we release a fix.” .
This “fix” is now part of an impending update to Windows 11 that arrived for Beta and Release Preview users last Friday, and the developer of EdgeDeflector wasn’t happy with Microsoft’s changes. These are not the actions of a keen company that cares about their product anymore,” EdgeDeflector developer Daniel Alexandersen says in an important blog post last week. “Microsoft is not a good agent for Windows. They prioritize ads, packages, and service subscriptions over user productivity.”
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