Now that Edge browser is built on Chromium, you’d think it would be virtually identical to Chrome, but both Google and Microsoft have kept separate and quite distinct experiences, even though their development teams are working together.
For example, Edge implemented coupon hunting before Chrome added it to the new tab page modules via the Chrome Cart experiment, and it was already added to the vertical tabs while Chrome dodged them.
However, the fact that they are owned by two very different companies, with very different philosophies about technology and user data, is reason enough for users to choose sides.
Because of this, Chrome users testing Windows 11 Insider Preview obviously get their desktop experience by installing the browser of their choice, and it’s not Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer replacement.
At first, Insider Preview respected the user’s choice to switch to Chrome as the default browser, and it only took a few clicks – one to choose Chrome from the list and another to tell Edge to get lost after a very direct suggestion to give try before changing.
Now, Tom Warren of The Verge has discovered that Windows 11 now forces users to go through a series of file type associations and manually switch from Edge to Chrome.
This means that instead of choosing Chrome once, you will have to select it eleven times (HTM, HTML, PDF, SHTML, SVG, WEBP, XHT, XHTML, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS).
Obviously, this is deeply troubling, but not unexpected. Microsoft has Windows, so it can technically do whatever it wants – just like Google did with Chrome OS.
However, Windows 11 isn’t called the Edge OS, so the company should probably fix that before releasing the new operating system so as not to annoy millions of users.
Several industry professionals stepped in to make a statement about this decision to make switching from default browsers more difficult in the initial test build of Windows, including Firefox senior vice president and Google senior vice president Hiroshi Lockheimer himself.
Hiroshi’s many Twitter followers were quick in point out the fact that Chrome OS doesn’t allow direct installation of a full version of Edge, and that switching from default browsers on Android requires several clicks as well.
One user specifically addressed their concerns about Microsoft, stating that Google is only concerned that Microsoft’s decision would directly affect how many users operate on Chrome as opposed to Edge.