Firefox boss attacks Windows 10 over the default browser settings

Firefox boss attacks Windows 10 over the default browser settings

Firefox boss attacks Windows 10 over the default browser settings

Firefox boss attacks Windows 10 over the default browser settings


Mozilla's CEO has published a letter of complaint about Windows 10's default browser settings, as it forces Windows 10 upgrade users to use Microsoft Edge as their default browser and not their chosen browser for Windows 7/8.1.

Below is Chris Beard's, Mozilla's CEO's, open letter to Microsoft regarding this issue. 


I am writing to you about a very disturbing aspect of Windows 10. Specifically, that the update experience appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and replace it with the Internet experience Microsoft wants them to have.

When we first saw the Windows 10 upgrade experience that strips users of their choice by effectively overriding existing user preferences for the Web browser and other apps, we reached out to your team to discuss this issue. Unfortunately, it didn’t result in any meaningful progress, hence this letter.

We appreciate that it’s still technically possible to preserve people’s previous settings and defaults, but the design of the whole upgrade experience and the default settings APIs have been changed to make this less obvious and more difficult. It now takes more than twice the number of mouse clicks, scrolling through content and some technical sophistication for people to reassert the choices they had previously made in earlier versions of Windows. It’s confusing, hard to navigate and easy to get lost.

Mozilla exists to bring choice, control and opportunity to everyone. We build Firefox and our other products for this reason. We build Mozilla as a non-profit organization for this reason. And we work to make the Internet experience beyond our products represent these values as much as we can.

Sometimes we see great progress, where consumer products respect individuals and their choices. However, with the launch of Windows 10 we are deeply disappointed to see Microsoft take such a dramatic step backwards.

These changes aren’t unsettling to us because we’re the organization that makes Firefox. They are unsettling because there are millions of users who love Windows and who are having their choices ignored, and because of the increased complexity put into everyone’s way if and when they choose to make a choice different than what Microsoft prefers.

We strongly urge you to reconsider your business tactic here and again respect people’s right to choice and control of their online experience by making it easier, more obvious and intuitive for people to maintain the choices they have already made through the upgrade experience. It should be easier for people to assert new choices and preferences, not just for other Microsoft products, through the default settings APIs and user interfaces.

Please give your users the choice and control they deserve in Windows 10.


Chris Beard
CEO, Mozilla

 Firefox boss attacks Windows 10 over the default browser settings  

Having recently upgraded to Windows 10 myself, I have found the fact that Microsoft has changed by default setting as a minor inconvenience at best, though those that are not technically minded will certainly have more difficulty when it comes to changing your default programs.

While I do not agree that it strips the user of choice, but it has certainly made it more difficult to switch over from default programs, requiring more clicks and having to navigate a rather confusing menu. 

Hopefully Microsoft will simplify the process of changing default settings in the future, but right now it looks like the defaults menu is here to stay.


You can join the discussion on Windows 10 Upgrades removing default program choices on the OC3D Forums.  


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Most Recent Comments

31-07-2015, 05:55:16

Hmm well I think they fixed this already, because the defaults box comes up asking you which one you want to use.

I like the defaults thing, it's a nice addition. Makes it easier to set up Windows in one go rather than making apps default one by one Quote

31-07-2015, 06:08:47

Bit of a sensationalist title don't you think WYP ?Quote

31-07-2015, 06:13:23

Originally Posted by Dicehunter View Post
Bit of a sensationalist title don't you think WYP ?
You took the words out of my mouth ! seriously, this part of the forums is becoming Yahoo! more and more by the day.


Then you click on the article and he's actually taken the head off of a spot with a razor.

Sort it out. It just leads to arguing and infighting.Quote

31-07-2015, 12:36:00

Didn't see this as a big issue to be fair. Literally took seconds to change my default back to Chrome.Quote

31-07-2015, 17:33:18

I don't get this drama.

Isn't this to be expected? Every software does this when you install it, unless you specify otherwise. For example, when installing iTunes it wants to be the default app for all media files.

The way people are talking is like Microsoft blocked any other browsers from being used.

If someone was smart enough to download FireFox in the first place, then they'll be smart enough to click the shortcut for it and say "yes" they want to make it the default browser. Or they'll be smart enough to not do the "Basic" Windows 10 settings in the first place.Quote

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