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Mozilla's Report Critiques Microsoft's Edge Browser Promotion Tactics as Potentially Compromising Free Browser Choice

Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox browser, has recently released a comprehensive 74-page report titled "Over The Edge: How Microsoft’s Design Tactics Compromise Free Browser Choice." The report dives into Microsoft's strategies for promoting its Edge browser over competitors such as Firefox and Chrome, raising concerns about what Mozilla perceives as "harmful designs" that could impact users' ability to make a free and informed choice regarding their preferred browser.

Microsoft's strategies for promoting its Edge browser over competitors such as Firefox and Chrome
Microsoft's strategies for promoting its Edge browser over competitors such as Firefox and Chrome

Pre-checked checkboxes that automatically import data from other browsers into Edge
Pre-checked checkboxes that automatically import data from other browsers into Edge


One major point of contention highlighted by Mozilla is the use of pop-ups and messages when users attempt to download alternative browsers using Microsoft Edge. According to the report, these pop-ups act more as advertisements disguised as advice, attempting to sway users to stick with Edge throughout the download process. Mozilla argues that such tactics may interfere with users' capacity to make a free and unbiased choice.

The first-time setup experience for Edge also comes under scrutiny, with Mozilla pointing out pre-checked checkboxes that automatically import data from other browsers into Edge. Placed strategically near an eye-catching blue button, these checkboxes may take advantage of users' tendencies to accept pre-selected options without actively opting in for such features. The use of a low-contrast grey color for the checkbox, which deviates from Microsoft's design guidelines, is highlighted as a potential issue.

Mozilla further criticizes Windows for making it challenging for users to change their default browser away from Edge. Windows 10, for instance, prompts users to explore Microsoft Edge when attempting to change the default browser. Even in Windows 11, setting a new browser as default may not change all extension defaults away from Edge.

Windows 10, for instance, prompts users to explore Microsoft Edge when attempting to change the default browser
Windows 10, for instance, prompts users to explore Microsoft Edge when attempting to change the default browser


The report concludes with Mozilla recommending that Microsoft should cease using these identified techniques immediately. While it remains unclear if Mozilla plans to take further action beyond the report, it underscores the discontent among Edge's competitors regarding Microsoft's promotional strategies for its browser.

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