Intercepting the installation of Firefox and Chrome on Windows 10
Insider build of Windows 10 v.1809 has a new feature . When a user tries to install Firefox or Chrome, the system now displays a message that Microsoft Edge is already on the computer - and offers to launch this “faster and safer browser”.
The OS intercepts the installation of alternative software, which is not approved for installation, and tries to dissuade the user from unwanted actions.
In addition, the settings for applications have changed in the latest build. Previously, by default, the installation of any programs was allowed - Allow apps from anywhere (Default) . Other options offered were “Warn me about installing apps not from the Store” and “Allow apps to be installed only from the Store.”
The new default setting is Show me app recomendations . Other options are “Disable recommendations for applications”, “Warn about installing applications not from the Store” and “Allow applications to be installed only from the Store”.
Apparently, the installation of Firefox and Chrome in Windows 10 is intercepted in accordance with the new default settings in the Apps & features section , that is, "Show recommendations for applications." Recommendations in Windows 10 include warnings about installing "unnecessary" browsers such as Firefox and Chrome.
The appearance of this function caused outrage among some users. Many still remember the annoying offers to install Windows 10, which were displayed in Windows 7. To refuse these offers was a non-trivial task, so sometimes the installation of Windows 10 began against the user's will.
According toCommentators, such actions indicate an increased struggle in the browser market and the desire of Microsoft to maintain / increase its share. Now Chrome dominates this market, including due to Google’s aggressive policy of advertising this browser on its sites. Many Firefox and Edge users must have come across offers to install Chrome on sites owned by Google. There are other methods: for example, a recent YouTube redesign uses the exotic Shadow DOM v0 APIs, which are only implemented in Chrome. As a result, YouTube pages load much faster in Chrome than in other browsers .
In addition, Chrome may “accidentally” become the default browser during the installation of some extraneous free utility. This practice is so widespread that there are even special tools that remove all unnecessary checkmarks during the installation of any programs.
Apple is also trying to offer MacOS users its Safari browser. Unlike competitors, Firefox does not advance in such ways: Mozilla does not have at its disposal a platform for such promotion.
It is not yet known whether a new function with interception of alternative browser settings will enter the big October update of Windows 10. If this happens, such actions may cause opposition from the antimonopoly committee of the European Union. Based on the experience of past antitrust processes in the EU, Microsoft may target the display of such Edge browser recommendations to users outside the EU to avoid problems.
“Application guidelines” in Windows 10 may actually be useful to some users. For example, many do not know that it is not necessary to install Acrobat Reader to view PDF files and, thus, add new potential vulnerabilities to the system. That is, Microsoft quite reasonably turned on this option by default. The only question is the content of the recommendations themselves.