Even though Microsoft has somewhat backtracked on its default browser settings development in Windows 11, some companies such as Mozilla think that “more can be done.”
While the most recent Microsoft default browser settings change gets users closer to the more streamline process of older Windows operating system options, it’s still a rather convoluted process according to Mozilla.
Microsoft’s changes that improve the default browser setting experience for users are a step in the right direction. But more can be done to respect default browser choice on Windows. People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults and all operating systems should offer official developer support for default status. In practice, we’d like to also see progress on reducing the number of steps required to set a new browser as default, and on opening and making APIs available for apps to set default that other Microsoft applications use.
Mozilla is not alone in their beliefs that Microsoft is muddying the waters with unnecessary hoops to jump through to get the default browser experience people were more accustomed to in Windows 7, 8 and 10.
Over the past year or so, Microsoft has gotten an earful from users and 3rd party browser developers over its curious approach to default settings.
Counter to what Microsoft has done in the past, the company seemed to encourage its Windows team to break down the default browser settings process into both broad and specific selections that involve users understanding what FTP, .svg, .xml, IRC and many other protocols are, less they find Microsoft Edge still popping up in random occasions.
While the company may pitch its Windows 11 default browser change as a granular buffet for IT Admins who are commissioned to assign specific apps to specific protocols, the average user typically wants their default choice to remain their default selection.
As with most software developments, Windows 11 remains an evolving platform and perhaps Microsoft recent moonwalk towards streamlining the default browser experience will be indicative of a future balance for the company, its 3rd party partners and users.