There seems to be a browser war brewing and Microsoft has just taken it a notch higher.
In the latest update, Firefox’s workaround has been shut down.
Users knew this would be coming but did not expect it this soon.
It may have seemed that Microsoft was against the anti-competitive behavior but judging from the latest update, Microsoft is not downing its tools.
The Redmond giant had previously said it would block all default browser workarounds in Windows 11 but had yet to specify a time.
Workarounds for browsers like Mozilla, EdgeDeflector, and Brave have been operational for a while but the latest update seems to have put an end to such.
Patch Tuesday update
Microsoft seems to be playing sneaky games as in the final patch Tuesday for 2021 released, the update was slipped in since there was no prior announcement. The update is for both Windows 10 and Windows 11.
What this means is that “microsoft-edge:// links” can no longer be forced to open in your default browser of choice.
EdgeDeflector and Mozilla’s were notorious and made it possible for these links to be intercepted in the workaround. This option is now no longer available.
Whereas these changes are somewhat sudden, they were expected. Microsoft had for a long time had intentions of blocking the ‘improper’ workaround even though users had been vocal in the forums about how the company was all about anti-competitive behaviors.
Now, Microsoft’s SmartScreen flags the background process for the workaround. For instance, the Edge browser uses a tool called MSEdgeRedirect and has to run in the background to work.
For now, users can take advantage of the MSEdgeRedirect tool with the Edge browser but it is highly likely that Microsoft will block it too soon enough.
The outrage from users is quite clear and it will be interesting to see what the future holds and whether there will be any repercussions.
What do you think of Microsoft’s move to block browsers’ workaround? Let us know in the comment section below.