Vivaldi asks Microsoft to start competing on the merits of the Edge browser, and not force it on users

Vivaldi is not impressed with the way Microsoft is pushing the Edge browser to its users. In a strongly worded blog post, Jon von Tetzchner, the CEO of Vivaldi has asked Microsoft to start doing the right thing, give users a choice when it comes to choosing browsers, and not force the Edge browser onto its users. The problem is that it is notoriously difficult to change the default browser in Windows 10 from Edge to any other browser.

For those who are technically challenged, it is even more difficult. Microsoft forces an upgrade to 10 for Windows 8 users, and installs the Edge browser as the default. If a user has installed a browser, set that as the default browser, and then installs another browser, the operating system reverts to Edge as the default browser. This requires the user to change the default browser every time a new browser is installed.

Tetzchner has challenged Microsoft to compete based only on the merits of the browser, and not push the software so strongly to users, that they are deprived of choice. “It is time to do the right thing. Stop stealing the default browser, accept user choice and compete on the merits.” the blog post says.

Previously, Mozilla, the makers of the popular Firefox browser had also lashed out at Microsoft for the way Microsoft was pushing Edge to its users. Mozilla CEO said in a blog post, “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.”

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Microsoft has been accused of pushing out its own technologies to users, killing the competitive environment for third party applications in the anti-virus space as well, not just for browsers. Windows 10 aggressively allows only one anti-virus software to be installed on Windows 10, a rule that does not apply to Microsoft’s own anti-virus software, Windows Defender. The Windows Defender app prevents any other anti-virus software from functioning properly. Eugene Kaspersky, the CEO of Kaspersky Lab has asked for co-operation from the entire third party software industry, to hold Microsoft accountable for its anti-competitive practices.