One of the most egregious errors Microsoft made with Windows 11
was preventing users from easily downloading and installing
alternatives to the Edge browser. Microsoft's recent Insider build
appears to remedy this.
On Wednesday, Microsoft introduced Windows 11 Insider Preview
Build 22509 for the Dev Channel, which introduced minor but welcome tweaks to the
Taskbar and Start menu. According to developer Rafael Rivera, there's
another tweak: a set default button that will finally allow you to
download an alternative browser to Microsoft Edge.
As PCWorld's Windows 11 review indicated, there's
no easy way to change between browsers. While you can download a
browser like Chrome, the stable version of Windows 11 forces you to
select a default browser for each and every file type, a laborious
process that Windows 10 eliminates by simply allowing users to
create a default browser profile for every file type a browser
typically handles. With the new Insider build, there's now a Set
default button that again sets many of the new file types to the
browser of your choice.
Many, but not all. The new change simply tweaks the settings for
HTM, HTML, HTTP, and HTTPS file types, according to a Microsoft statement released to The Verge, but
Edge will still be called for PDF files, SVG files, and so on. In
other words, it's a start, but not a comprehensive change. Still,
with EU representatives reportedly being asked to investigate bundling practices involving
Microsoft Teams integration inside Office—and possibly Windows
11 as well—Microsoft may now be more sensitive to the issue of
consumer choice than it has been in the past.