Microsoft intercepting Firefox and Chrome installation on Windows 10
When you try to install the Firefox pr Chrome web browser on a recent Windows 10 version 1809 Insider build, you may notice that the installation gets interrupted by the operating system.
The intermediary screen that interrupts the installation states that Edge is installed on the device and that it is safer and faster than the browser that the user was about to install on the device.
Options provided are to open Microsoft Edge or install the other browser anyway. There is also an option to disable the warning type in the future but that leads to the Apps listing of the Settings application and no option to do anything about that.
While there is certainly a chance that Microsoft is just testing things in preview versions of Windows, it is equally possible that such a setting will land in the next feature update for Windows 10.
Companies like Google or Microsoft have used their market position in the past to push their own products. Google pushes Chrome on all of its properties when users use different browsers to connect to them, and Microsoft too displayed notifications on the Windows 10 platform to users who used other browsers that Edge was more secure or power friendly.
The intercepting of installers on Windows is a new low, however. A user who initiates the installation of a browser does so on purpose. The prompt that Microsoft displays claims that Edge is safer and faster, and it puts the Open Microsoft Edge button on focus and not the "install anyway" button.
It seems likely that such a prompt would result in higher than usual exits from installation if the intercepting prompt lands in stable versions of Windows.
There is also a chance that Microsoft would push its own products when users attempt to install other products: think a third-party media player, screenshot tool, image editor, or text editor.
While it seems that Microsoft plans to integrate an option to disable these "warnings", it remains to be seen how that will look like. Judging from the current implementation it will be opt-out which means that the intercepting prompts are displayed to all users by default who attempt third-party software installations.
I tried to install Chrome Stable and Firefox Stable, and both installations were intercepted by the prompt. Again, this happens only in Windows 10 version 1809 on the Insider channel. Whether the intercepting will land in the soon to be released stable version of Windows 10 version 1809, the October 2018 Update, remains to be seen.
Microsoft Edge is not doing so well despite the fact that it is the default web browser on Windows 10. Microsoft stated in 2017 that Edge usage had doubled but third-party usage tracking service still see the browser lag behind Chrome, Firefox and even Internet Explorer in usage share.
Microsoft has released Edge for Android and the browser has been well received by Android users.
Now You: What is your take on the prompt?
Lol, I noticed in a VM running the preview release whenever I go to Settings’s default applications page I’m being reminded to give Edge a try. For some reason Chromium was a bit of a jerk and set itself as the default browser.
I noticed in Windows 10 browsers generally act weird when it comes to defaults. Firefox during installation does not ask you if you want to set it as default and it automatically associates three protocols HTTP, HTTPS and FTP (I think this was the third). Chromium sometimes prompts me with a banner if I want to set it as default on the second launch. But sometimes it sets itself as default.
I noticed the Firefox issue on Windows 8.1 as well.
None of this happens on 7, btw. Nor on LTSB1607, with the exeption of Firefox assigning those three protocols, like on 8.1.
@Yuliya: I am running Win 8.1 but have not noticed any such behaviour when installing Firefox or its forks, nor when installing Chrome or its forks.
During the installation process there is an extra step on Windows 7 where you are being asked if you want to set Fx as your default browser. That step is missing on 8.1 and LTSB1607. As a consequence, Fx assigns to itself those three protocols. At least that’s the case if no other browser is present, including IE.
Would be hilarious since strangely Firefox follows standards better then IE or Chrome do.
For years (and probably still) Firefox worked even better with their SharePoint then IExplorer did.
Here is how the installer differs from 7 to LTSB1607: imgur.com/a/LmRxETG
Note there’s one additional checkbox on 7 compared to 8/10. Because that checkbox lacks on 8/10, it automatically associates those three protocols. At leat that’s what I’m seeing on clean installations of Windows with no other browsers present.
I really hope they push this into release so MS can get sued again for their nonsense, outright shameful.
They will probably be smart enough to only do it in countries where MS owns enough politicians to negate the risk.
Chrome should be sued for their online ads and “work in chrome only” behaviour. Edge is 7% mkt share. Chrome is nearly 70%.
That’s a very different situation, though. I’m not sure what the case would be for a lawsuit about Chrome’s behavior. The issue with Windows is that it’s an operating system that has monopoly power. Chrome is not.
Some of Google’s websites (Search, Maps and YouTube) are close to being as ubiquitous as Windows. If Google refuses to make those websites work properly in other browsers there is a case to be made.
Honestly, I just think it’s better when there are no browsers that have two thirds of the market, whether Google’s obvious anti-competitive behaviour is legal or not.
Only 70%? Chrome can do better than that.
MS should already be sued for not letting Home and Pro users opt out of being spied on. People don’t realize what’s happening, if they did there would be mass protests.
Edge is short on add-on’s and I can’t even drag a URL from another browser like FF to Edge. Then there is that dumb “set tabs aside” control that never seems to work correctly.
So mostly, I don’t use Edge and have no plans to increase my use.
This is just ridiculous.
This kind of desperation is just absurd by now!
I bet a lot of people will switch to Edge/Explorer after this… NOT.
This nothing new.
For years already, Microsoft has reluarly reseted the “open with ..;” default programs for videos, audio pdf, doc and other similar files to Microsoft apps, At least twice a year, during the spring and the fall updates.
First time I hear about that. Reason enough not to update at all.
Every time I updated my new Android phone, it reset my onscreen keyboard to Swiftkey.
No, I don’t want Swiftkey okay? I want a simple keyboard with the buttons where I expect them to be, that doesn’t record my inputs and sends them to god knows where!
So yeah, not just MS doing that kind of thing.
@Kawa: “not just MS doing that kind of thing.”
Except that Microsoft owns Swiftkey, so that’s still MS doing that kind of thing.
Is that any worse than running a Microsoft fixit that doesn’t fix your PC problem but gives you a ‘more options’ link that leads to advertising for a Microsoft Surface!
I’ve encountered those before Windows 10 was a thing!
I wouldn’t mind if Edge was an excellent browser. But it isn’t. It’s not even in the top 10. Now imagine if Redmond would put as much work and focus on Edge like they do with shameless pop-ups like these, then MAYBE sometime within the next 10-15 years Edge could be something more than sad piece of eternal-beta software. But yeah, first they have to deal with the eternal-beta OS they sometimes casually work on in between pop-up notification development.
This behavior wouldn’t be acceptable even if Edge were the best browser in the history of browsers.
It reminds me when 20 years ago I thought I needed the AOL browser provided with the CD to surf on the internet.
This is desperation at its best. Microsoft has lost in three major fields, those fields being Internet applications, mobile devices, and search engines. While they have given up on the smartphones, it seems as if they are still aggressively pushing their Edge browser. However, most people own Android phones and are thus already using Chrome on the go for the most part. Those people joined the crowd that has already installed Chrome in the years prior to Android, due to Chrome offering the better user experience and an aggressive promotion on Google’s sites, most prominently Google Mail and YouTube.
A true dilemma from Microsoft’s point of view, making them desperate enough to push this nonsense on their users. Although, to be fair, Apple also prompts its users to “try out the new Safari” in macOS, albeit after another browser is installed already.
Microsoft should just accept defeat in areas where they cannot win anymore. I imagine that their defeat in the mobile sector hurts them the most, as a great many services are being run on mobile devices these days, and are thus hurting their other business units.
Microsoft, stop the annoyance that is only going to drive people away, and gain back some of your almost completely destroyed (muddled by nag- and spyware) dignity.
Actions like this will eventually cause them to lose in the biggest field … the OS.
Microsoft already is slowly losing in the biggest field. Steam Play Proton making Windows games run on Linux OOTB is just the beginning.
Microsoft already lost its OS. Windows is a neglected unimportant OS with ~8% market share. “Linux” rules the world with 91.9%.
Well, Windows is a mostly desktop OS, so it still is the most used OS in that regard.
It must be obvious to Microsoft by now that Windows 7 and 8.1 users aren’t going to switch to Windows 10 anymore. That being the case, I’m surprised they haven’t made an Edge version which will run on both those OS. Even if say only 25% of users were to install it, it would still boost their installation ratings I would have thought.
@TelV : Very true. I am still on XP x64 and 7 x64 and have no plans to go any further in the Windows world. When there is no more hardware support for 7 x64 i probably stop use computers.
@stefann Just switch to Linux Mint or Manjaro after Windows 7 support expires. You can learn Linux in VirtualBox until then so can be ready to switch whenâ€‹ you feel ready.
What an arsehole behavior from Microsoft, always pushing for worse. And their proprietary spyware browser Edge isn’t something I would call safe.
Google Chrome too used dishonest practices like bundling to get installed on so many desktops and then claim that it’s because users love it.
It also reminds me of when Google webmail did pretend that Thunderbird was less safe, what a sinister joke.
Yeah. And pushing their repositories to your /etc/sources.list when UNINSTALLING Chrome.
Microsoft is clearly pulling a rearguard action to shore up Edge. The “safer” and “faster” claims in their installation interstitial may or may not be justified. The other browsers are safe and fast, and MS knows it.
The distinguishing features of Edge?
* They gratuitously changed the standardized web extension api namespace from “chrome” to “browser” on the mistaken understanding that Google Chrome === chrome.
* They still have no good open way to deploy web extensions, unlike the other browsers. Even Safari on the Mac has a way to deploy web extensions.
I wonder: why doesn’t Microsoft just give up on the browser business, licensing in Firefox to replace it? They could easily private-label it. The browser business must be a very large cost center for them, but not much of a profit center.
Maybe there is a profit center in Edge. But it sure is invisible to
“Don’t want to be warned in the future?” Microsoft should not be asking to me that way?: “if you do not want to be warned in the future open settings > Why Microsoft think it can be so familiar with me :(
Does everyone have the same problem with the “Switch to Chrome – Hide annoying ads and protect against malware on the web” prompt that you get by going to google.com in Edge?
I wouldn’t have the same issue with that at all. There’s a huge difference between a web server that insert ads based on which browser you’re using to view the web site with and having the operating system actually examining the program you’re running to decide to insert ads into the operating system behavior.
The first is merely annoying. The second is abuse of the power position that an operating system has (not to mention subverting the purpose of an operating system).
And aside from that, I have to bring up the extremely deceptive, fear-mongering language that Microsoft is using for this. That elevates the issue from just “extremely bad behavior” to “evil”.
This sort of despicable behavior shows clearly that there is a burning need to implement a global enforced law that clearly stipulates that once you bought a product version of a software program that there will be no changes on the product without your consent, except for the normal security updates (And even is this last bit there must be not so much room to maneuver. Think restrictions that company & governments applying who are not in your favor).
This isn’t that different though to Google suggesting quite heavily when you use it with other browsers that you should use Chrome…
It’s a world of difference.
When you search google using browsers other than chrome, google ads a hint/ad to chrome on the top of the results page.
What microsoft is doing is completely different, their method puts a big ad in the center of the screen and completely disrupts the experience by requiring user input before continuing the process it was doing before!
Though you could say it nicely complements the cringe of getting my file associations reset by various “updates” so it can push me to open some m$-app again.
These kind of tactics worked in the past when Microsoft killed off Netscape, but they no longer have the level of muscle and are becoming really desperate.
Please. It is MS who is pulling this. Who in the world is supposed to be surprised by their schemes ? It simply shows there is more on the way and that they will do everything and above to get their ways. It will probably end up in completely MS controlled end user computers, running on timely limited subscriptions. On top of that they may use all the users data to make even more money. Everyone with half a brain should have figured it out by now.
And, by the way: it is not important, what MS does. It is much more eminent what the end user decides to do. We have a lot of choices to leave this “wonderful” company and go with a different system. Not always easy but still better than endless complaining about MS and in the end keeping it. I understand also, there may be quite a few who have to stick with tem for whatever reason. In this case a severe case of buttrash may appear as a side effect.
There is nothing new under the sun. When you give an entity too much power, be sure that it WILL ABUSE it. I’ll say it for the nth time: move to Linux. Make the jump before windows 7 support ends.
If you are not aware, the European Parliament blatantly disregarded thousands of emails, calls and messages from Europe average citizens against Article 11 (link tax) and 13 (web filter). What this means it that all content uploaded to the internet can be monitored and potentially deleted if a likeness to existing copyrighted content is detected.
The EU is tyrannical, with total disregard for the common people. Another one of their inventions is the invasion of the so called “refugees”, without any vote of the general population.
Please go to: https://saveyourinternet.eu for any news regarding censorship about article 13. This has to be stopped, by all means!
Yes, the EU is nothing but a tyrannical tool of capitalism through lobbys, like the State in most countries but more visibly so.
No, you didn’t understand that the current walk of EU and its member states towards fascism isn’t actually opposed at all to xenophobia and closing borders to refugees of countries it destroys or others. Maybe it’s only doing it too slowly for you.
Is it legal ? (antitrust laws)
Every single time I load a google website in ANY browser I get similar popup telling me to switch to chrome becasue, REASONS!.
The only way to stop that popup is to allow google to place a tracking cookie on my system.
Not once, not during an ‘install’, every single fucking time I load a google website. Why isn’t anyone having a meltdown over that?
@Dave: “The only way to stop that popup is to allow google to place a tracking cookie on my system”
Funny, I’ve never experienced this, and I don’t have Chrome. I just softened all my blocking barriers under Opera (I did not change anything in Settings, though), went to google.com, and did not see anything of the sort. Not saying that it did not happen to you, just puzzled.
Opera uses the Chromium (Blink) engine now. It is likely the script doesn’t detect Opera separately because [market share].
You may be able to disable that behavior with an element blocker such as those in AdGuard or AdBlock plus. I use Duck Duck Go but even that has a semi-endless scroll of junk below the search window. It can all be disabled with an element blocker though.
Proudly brought to you by the company that equates clicking a red X with granting permission to “go ahead and install Windows 10 anyway when I’m not looking”. Given their previous bad behavior, I’m not sure why anyone would expect better conduct from Microsoft now.
Windows 10 wallpaper: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cd6b6718b9355c8931d77a959fdeb91f081a46643f6b08dab1d5afe14e7ebd28.png
BTW Edge is safer == sends all your web browsing data to Microsoft. That’s what it is really about. Today, every company wants to harvest, data mine, and sell your web browsing history. Just look at all the news stories in the past two months regarding browser extensions and even anti-virus programs secretly collecting it. When the AV company got caught, they said they did it to check whether or not customers visited malicious websites. Except, the proper way to perform a check like that is to download a database of malicious web addresses and do a comparison against the history on the user’s end, not actively exfiltrate the user’s web browsing history!
“What is your take on the prompt?”
I have two thoughts. First, this is clearly abusive and scummy behavior from Microsoft. Second, this simply reeks of pure desperation on Microsoft’s part.
Seems MS is testing a new “feature” to release upon some vulnerable, non-tech folk. Sad if implemented, many will succumb to this offensive MS scheme. Oh and btw, what is this MS marketing speak about it being a kinder, friendlier, gentler MS? I still have yet to see that proposition anywhere near validated. MS can have my win7 & linux installer disk when they take them from my dead, gnarly fingers. With MS schemes like this, the result should do little more than kindle and stoke complete contempt and distrust.
Remember when you were a kid, and your parents would go out on date night, or out to dinner or whatever? They would tell you to leave the booze or the cookies or whatever alone, but you knew that they would in some way make your life better. Satya Nadella, you’re not my dad!
This is horrible. There’s no excuse for it.
That said, whenever I see a new “feature”, advertisement, or way of doing things that I don’t like, my question is “Can I turn this off permanently in settings, or set it to do things the old or a more acceptable way on a permanent or semi-permanent basis?”.
If the answer is “Yes”, as appears to be the case here (Note the hyperlink included allowing one to turn it off in settings), I change the setting and get on with my life. I’m used to spending several hours with a new PC, smartphone, or other device getting it set to do what I want how I want without crapware or advertisements, and with the appropriate software installed and set as defaults, and then getting the software set up the way I want it. This is just another 5 seconds in that process- one I would run into once per PC while I am installing Firefox (Or whatever browser I’m installing), which is going to come during that initial setup process. I guess I’ll also have to do it for my existing PC once when the new version of Windows comes out.
So, in that context, I can deal. I guess that all this is heading in an ominous direction where eventually the settings that get me out of most of the things Windows 10 does that I don’t like may not be available to set anymore, which is why I am glad Linux exists as a potential fallback if we wind up in the worst possible future. ;) But it’s entirely possible that they’ll just stick with the type of thing they are doing and allow it to be turned off by what they probably consider “power users”, figuring it’s not a very large percentage of their install base, and it’s a group they want to keep happy because they are disproportionately called up by relatives and friends and asked for recommendations or computer help (and sometimes even work in IT).
Funny that everybody smashes on MS not to be number one. Wasn’t that the main argument for linux and co so that it makes no sense to develope shit for this plattform?
I think people are criticizing Microsoft in the hope that they’ll stop doing terrible things, not to stop them from “being number one”.
You’re being willfully obtuse because you’re a fanboy and don’t want to acknowledge that what Microsoft is doing is unethical. They are a garbage company and this is a perfect example of why. This thing where people develop a loyalty to huge companies and defend them like a girlfriend defends a boyfriend is just pathetic.
Microsoft is not only unethical, it dishes out sloppily programmed software. The current quality level of Windows updates is nothing short of outrageous.
We’re used to the common path : company x puts out vastly superior products > gets a monopoly > starts behaving unethically > is eventually cut down to size by state anti-trust regulation, or old-fashioned competition.
This goes far beyond. In the good ol’ days of Microsoft just throwing its monopoly around, users at least had blind confidence that Microsoft’s updates wouldn’t break their systems. Now it has come to the point where it’s safer not to upgrade.
And let’s be clear : the current monopolist, Google, which has taken over from Microsoft, puts out splendid products. Google software and services are stellar. Of course, they scrape the bottom as far as privacy is concerned, but that’s the sort of behaviour a monopolist can get away with — up to a point.
Microsoft is one order of magnitude worse than that now.
Not surprising, new ways of tricking people into using products are common. Those who understand what’s happening will blow by this and ignore edge; the other 99% of users won’t know what’s going on.
MS has done the same thing forever when you try to uninstall (or whatever windows really does) IE: “Danger! Danger! Windows no work no more!” Yeah it will and will also work perfectly with edge blocked by their own firewall! Fools!
Overall edge stinks, still looks and runs like part of a beta.
It would be nice if some genius released software that would peel Win 10 out of the junk wrappers vs. knowledgeable users going at it piecemeal.
It was many years ago Microsoft fell over the EDGE……
After using PC(MS)-DOS 1.0 (November, 1981) thru MS-Windows 7.0, and getting hit by huge numbers of malware, several years ago, I switched to Linux Mint 17.3. I am comfortable, safe, and happy.
Linux Mint strives for user privacy and slowly changes it’s user interface.
Linux is just fun.
I’m really surprised M$ didn’t make it mandatory having or creating an account to disable this “feature”.
This company sucks more and more every single day. Besides that there will be enough sheeps following the herd and believe in Edge as the perhaps greatest and safest browser experience of all times.
Again, thanks M$ for your generous offer, but I pass, as always.
OS integrated nag-ware? Hopefully they never do it every time you open a program they have an alternative for. I guess if you integrate ads into the OS this is right up the same alley.
Chrome is close to 70%, so Microsoft is getting more and more desperate.
When Chome is close to 80% they will make Windows Defender to block it as malware.
They would have done it already if they weren’t afraid of a lawsuit.
But this won’t work too.
Just another reason to use GNU/Linux.
“The Safer Browser” – LOL all browsers are riddled with malware like programming. For MS to make the claim that they are safer goes to show that they must be hurting for user adoption.
Oh please use your search engine Bing (wait what you were stealing google search results), oh no now no body is going to use this technology. Screw it, we will force everyone to use it when Mark Z accepts our $50 billion dollar prior to Facebooks IPO and we will force EVERYONE to use our search engine whenever anyone wants to perform a search on Facebook! Yah sounds like a great deal.
Oh and a new generation of kids who know nothing about the evils we represent! Well, we will rebrand ourselves as the good guys, purchase github and tell everyone how we love open source even though out founder was against open source and wrote a paper about it in the 80s!
Oh and we own linkedin now too and are good friends with facebook so we can look through and see who’s who. You could say we are basically one in the same thing since as was previously mentioned we dumped $50 billion on Facebook (probably stolen from the bailout).
But hey use our browser its totally safe wink wink. We are not here to destroy the human race while pretending that we are helping! LOL!
This has been around for at least a couple of years when you try to download Google Chrome from Edge browser. At the least in the last couple of Windows 10 iteration if I remembered correctly. I suspect they “throttle” the download speed as well. The download process was very slow, maybe it is not MS but problem with Google server, well.
The thing that mostly startles me about this: Is MS monitoring everything I install?
Given how much effort Microsoft puts into spying on Windows users, the only safe thing to do here is to assume that yes, they’re monitoring everything you install. Why wouldn’t they? They seem to be monitoring everything else…
THE NEXT LEVEL OF TRASH-MOVE…
You can navigate around nag screens. Everything else including slowing down speed, not allowing an install (competition) and other tricks should not be done at all. I have said this before. Nobody owns their computer outright. There is always something that crops up to make things look like you don’t. Usually the geeks say use Linux or something “other than” but if Windows is so bad why are so many using it and not going to alternatives? Most of the time I think people just want to complain about something like Windows and MS just to let off steam. lol I also love it when people using Linux and stuff end up here saying drop the problem I use Linux. lol What in the heck are you commenting on something you do NOT have? :-)
Just another reason to seriously consider moving to Linux on the desktop. Windows becomes less and less attractive at every turn.
More Microsoft bullying. So what else is new?
I wouldn’t mind edge being a ‘general purpose’ browser except for one thing — the way it handles bookmarks (favorites). They moved the panel to the right side with no way that I have found to move it back to the left. Most ‘western-based’ languages read from left to right, so keeping it on the left was in harmony with the way our eyes move in our languages. Plus, there’s no way to actually control and edit bookmarks from a separate ‘favorites” folder like you could in IE-11. In fact, there’s no way to get to them directly except through that right side panel.
Once a convicted monopolist, always a convicted monopolist.
Microsoft isn’t a monopoly. In fact, Microsoft is an insignificant company where it’s OS has ~8% world market share.
The reality is that Microsoft still thinks that it is significant and people still listen to what it has to say.
Those days has long past.
Where did you find this phony figure ?
Market share of Windows :
Desktop, 82 %
All platforms, 36 %
Microsoft removed that ad window.
Martin, read this recent Softpedia news article:
the feature of “intercepting” Firefox & Chrome installs has been removed with the recent Insider preview build of Win10 v1809.
more reactions from other blogs:
Some people e.g. politicians and corporations use the standard technique of grabbing power and testing for feedback to see if they can get away with it. As has been noted in prior comments and at https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/17/17868946/microsoft-windows-10-warning-prompt-chrome-firefox-test
the feedback can be strikeingly negative.
So many childish comments regarding Microsoft. Grow up.
So, was the EU’s “Browser Choice” verdiict against Microsoft time-limited or something? Because if it still were in force, this would AFAICS be a blatant violation of it.
Aha — from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BrowserChoice.eu :”However, Microsoft’s obligation to display the Browser Choice screen to Windows users expired in December 2014.” ( https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/12/windows-browser-ballot-comes-to-an-end-as-ec-obligation-expires ) So it _has_ expired. (See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Corp._v._Commission .)
Stupid commission. Should have known Microsoft is — and, apparently, always will be — Microsoft.
NtLite does for Windows what Windows should do out of the box.
Imposing a service is a shot in the foot .. Have they not understood this yet?
So this has been going on for a long time. But I only found out today. I found out Google Chrome did not update and I could not use my credit cards on very popular sites. I found out how to update and still could not, so I used (Confess) edge to complete the purchase. I removed Google chrome, rebooted and now I have no way of downloading Google chrome without getting the Edge block screen. Is there anything new on how to get Google chrome with the latest updates of Microsoft Windows 10. Going to google.com still got blocked.
I really like Google Chrome