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Vivaldi CEO slams Microsoft’s “anti-competitive” Edge browser tactics

We all know Microsoft has become rather adept at irritating Windows users, whether it’s with forced updates or smuggling ads into its OS.

Now Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner has had enough, and has taken to his company’s blog page to chastise Microsoft for what he calls “anti-competetive practices”.

Specifically, Tetzchner is upset about Microsoft automatically changing the default browser to its own Edge offering with a recent update to Windows 10.

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He also claims the company has made it too difficult for users to change the default option to any other browser.

The Vivaldi CEO, whose company makes its own browser, uses an example wherein he claims a 72-year-old friend was upgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 10 without her consent, only to discover the default browser had been set to Edge once the update was complete.

He writes: “Every time Windows 10 upgrades, it changes the default browser to Edge. Same thing tends to happen when a new browser is installed – for some reason, it leads to restoring Edge as the default option. Not the new browser, and not even the browser that was there as a default one previously.

Microsoft has made it complicated for a non-technical user to bring their old default browser back. My 72-year-old friend did not manage to do it, even though she tried.”

Last August, Microsoft came under fire for introducing a rewards initiative, which enabled those who frequently use the Edge browser – and the Bing search engine – in the US to earn for their browsing time.

It followed criticism from the Electronic Frontier Foundation over a “blatant disregard” for user choice and privacy relating to Microsoft harvesting user data from Windows 10.

Microsoft responded by announcing new privacy options for Windows 10 in an upcoming update, with Windows chief Terry Myerson explaining in a blog post: “This is our first step in expanding the tools that give you visibility and control over your data spanning Microsoft products and services, and we will continue to add more functionality and categories of data over time.”

But it seems Tetzchner is more concerned with competition among rival companies, adding in his blog post: “I understand that Microsoft is concerned with the low usage of Edge, but instead of building a better browser, Microsoft is forcing its product onto people in the most unapologetic manner.

The CEO finishes by asking the company to “do the right thing” and give users back the “absolute prerogative to make a choice”.

TrustedReviews has contacted Microsoft for comment.

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Let us know what you think of Tetzchner’s post in the comments.

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