To many users of Windows 10 or previous versions, it might appear that lately Microsoft has been reading too many marketing automation and growth hacking manuals. Just about every tactic in the book seems to have been thrown at users to encourage them to make the move to Windows 10 from previous versions, as reported in the Inquisitr last week. Those tactics included “accidentally” scheduling Windows 10 updates, and previously downloading the entire Windows 10 upgrade onto users’ systems even if they hadn’t yet requested their copy.
The software giant now appears to be bringing that strategy to bear on Windows 10 users who wish to switch to other popular browsers, such as Firefox and Chrome. The Verge broke the story after getting access to a Windows 10 preview build set for release shortly.
When Windows 10 users attempt to switch their default browser app from Edge to one of the rival browsers, it is reported that Windows 10 now presents a pop up urging users to “give Microsoft Edge a shot.” The user is then presented with a list of the benefits of using Edge, many of which are available in other browsers for Windows 10, albeit sometimes through extensions rather than built-in functionality.
It is also reported that the new pop-up is not restricted to fighting the “browser war,” but also pops up when Windows 10 users try to abandon the built in media player or the built in photo app for Photoshop, a decision which Extreme Tech describes as “hilarious.”
“If you’re upgrading from an older Windows installation and rely on software like Adobe Photoshop, the idea that Microsoft’s Photos app offers you a superior experience is hilarious — but that’s what the company is planning to hit people with when the new build goes live.”
To be fair to Microsoft, the new Edge browser for Windows 10 benefits from the “ground up” approach they took developing it, and in many use cases, outperforms the much-maligned Internet Explorer. However, as a new entry to the Windows ecosystem with the arrival of version 10, it does have a way to go to satisfy power users.
Previous negative experiences with Internet Explorer are perhaps one of the causes behind Windows 10 users failing to stick with Edge, despite Edge commanding the position of “default browser” for new users. Computer World reports that only a “minority” of users have decided to continue to use Edge after upgrading to Windows 10.
Having made a significant investment in Edge, bringing a new browser experience to Windows 10 that integrates with their other tools, such as Cortana, Microsoft is no doubt keen to stop the rot and avoid losing a second “browser war” on Windows 10. It’s long been known that Internet Explorer’s once-dominant position has been in constant decline since the arrival of Chrome and Firefox to the scene.
Realizing that some Windows 10 users were finding the constant addition of features to make switching more difficult a challenge, Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, released a short video explaining how to ensure Firefox remains the default browser. This upcoming change to Windows 10, in the form of a “begging reminder” that Edge is here, will require an update to the video.
The Verge does point out, however, that there are some security benefits to the new Windows 10 approach to setting default apps. It should no longer, for example, be possible for apps to “hijack” default status without the user going through the new Windows 10 process.
Actually adding an additional Windows 10 settings pop-up on top of the already additional step, and removing the option for users to pick Firefox or Chrome when installing Windows 10, does feel like a step too far, however. The real way to win the “browser war” on Windows 10 is to make Edge the best experience on Windows 10, not make it more difficult for users to choose the browser they prefer.
[Image Via Microsoft Press Center]