Microsoft really wants people to use Microsoft Edge in Windows 11. After the company made it harder to swap out the default web browser, and Firefox developed its own workaround, third-party developers came up with apps like EdgeDeflector, which makes it easy to not use Microsoft Edge in Windows 11 for functions like search in the Taskbar.
Microsoft doesn't seem too happy about all this and has now blocked Edge Deflector, according to The Verge. The block was initially spotted in Windows 11 Build 22000.346 for the Release Preview and Beta Channels. In the release notes, Microsoft mentioned that "we fixed an issue where OS functionality could be improperly redirected when microsoft-edge: links are invoked."
That's an obvious nod to Edge Deflector, but Microsoft confirmed to The Verge that the change will also arrive for all Windows 11 users in the coming weeks. With the change, app developers can no longer invoke microsoft-edge protocol links. According to Microsoft:
Windows openly enables applications and services on its platform, including various web browsers. At the same time, Windows also offers certain end-to-end customer experiences in both Windows 10 and Windows 11, the search experience from the taskbar is one such example of an end-to-end experience that is not designed to be redirected. When we become aware of improper redirection, we issue a fix.
Microsoft seems to be pulling the security card in its decision and doesn't appear too keen on key Windows functions being redirected away from its own browser. However, EdgeDeflector developer Daniel Aleksandersen says that there are nearly 500,000 users of EdgeDeflector so, knowing Microsoft's antitrust issues with Internet Explorer in the past, this saga could become bigger.