Microsoft really, really doesn’t want Firefox on your computer

Microsoft Edge
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Microsoft made a big fanfare around the launch of its Edge browser last year: a reboot of the long-running Internet Explorer default web browser built into Windows.

But the software giant is testing out new initiatives to ensure users stick with the default Edge browser, including ‘warning’ prompts when you attempt to download a competing browser. 

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are two browsers often touted as faster, more streamlined alternatives. The choice of browser often comes down to personal preference regarding the interface – and despite being pre-installed in Windows PCs, the Edge browser lags behind in popularity, below even Apple’s Safari browser.

The notifications can be turned off, but may do more to irritate existing users rather than encourage Edge loyalty – just check the tweet below.

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Fair play

Microsoft’s warning prompts aren’t just irritating: they also build an odd air of distrust. With so many viruses and valid cybersecurity concerns out there, trying to throw doubt on the reliability of perfectly sufficient browsers to ensure users stick with Edge – instead of making a browser they genuinely prefer – doesn’t seem very sportsmanlike.

On the other hand, Google was called out earlier this summer for a YouTube redesign to improve loading speeds – that required running on the Chrome browser. 

A technician from Mozilla caused a storm when they pointed out that the update caused comparatively slower loading speeds on Edge and Firefox, due to their differences in programming.

Via Engadget (opens in new tab)

Henry is a freelance technology journalist. Before going freelance, he spent more than three years at TechRadar reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines also include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.