Microsoft Edge: The uninvited guest continues to intrude on European users

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Microsoft’s recent announcement that European-based users must now have their web-links open using their default browsers instead of Microsoft Edge is being met with skepticism.

The policy was set to debut in the Insider build of Windows 11 from version 23531 and carry forward into all versions deployed within the European Economic Area. However, there is no tangible evidence as of now denoting such changes.

The decision, purportedly aligned with Europe’s Digital Services and Digital Markets Act (DMA), is an attempt to avoid the “gatekeeping” tag, a term that criticizes the tech giant’s apparent preference for its in-house browser.

Speaking to The Register about this issue, developer Daniel Aleksandersen, who works for Vivaldi Technologies, states:

In our testing, even the new Windows Insider build continues to default to Edge, irrelevant of the user’s physical location.

I’ve checked, double-, and triple-checked my findings. Nothing has changed. Web links still force-open in Microsoft Edge instead of your default web browser.

Aleksandersen also developed EdgeDeflector, a tool to dodge Edge’s URL scheme behavior.

The Register proposed that the change might not affect Edge directly but could instead impact calling applications such as Outlook, switching from Microsoft Edge-oriented commands to more open-ended instructions. Such a solution might resolve Europe’s gatekeeping concerns.

The doubtful Aleksandersen responded:

I have not observed any reduction in Microsoft Edge links. Nor do we see alternative non-Microsoft-edge iterations.”

He indicates the absence of any significant changes reflective of Microsoft’s claimed amendments.

Aleksandersen maintains that beyond Microsoft’s announcement, no visible changes or functional differences have been noted in its system. Nonetheless, he concedes that the Edge scheme would be adequate if Microsoft had exercised restraint in its use, limiting it to sporadic promotions and account management links.

The story comes as a surprise to users and competitors alike, who now eagerly await the enforcement of Europe’s DMA and Microsoft’s response.

Via The Register.