Firefox works around cumbersome Windows 11 default browser prompts
Microsoft is making security an indispensable pillar and marketing point for Windows 11 to the point that all eligible PCs are required to have TPM 2.0 present and enabled. Given Windows’ image and recent security incidents in the past few years, that move isn’t exactly surprising. Microsoft, however, might be taking things too far when it revamped Windows 11’s system for setting default applications. Mozilla has apparently had enough and has implemented a one-click way to set Firefox as the default web browser on Windows 11 against Microsoft’s envisioned policy.
It was discovered just last month that Windows 11 changes the game completely when it comes to changing which apps are used by default for certain types of content. While Windows 10 had high-level controls for Web browsers, Email, Photos, Videos, and the like, Windows 11 makes the process more convoluted, requiring users to set the default app for each and every file type associated with that app.
Naturally, other web browser makers were not amused, voicing their strong opposition to Microsoft’s changes. Those have so far fallen on deaf ears, and with Windows 11’s launch around the corner, it seems that Microsoft isn’t about to change course. Mozilla is taking matters into its own hands and has implemented a new feature that will give its users some peace of mind when Windows 11 rolls out.
Firefox 91 now has a single notification that asks users if they want to make it the default web browser. Unlike what happens even on Windows 10, the change happens silently in the background, without any further user interaction. It’s definitely more convenient but also skirts around why Microsoft made changing default apps so much more complicated.
On paper, Microsoft is trying to make it harder for malicious software to hijack default apps. By reverse-engineering this system, Mozilla could also end up opening the doors for those less innocent apps as well. Then again, if other browser makers follow Mozilla’s initiative, Microsoft might be forced to revert its changes since all those workarounds make the security benefits moot anyway.
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September 13, 2021 at 10:25PM