Mozilla CEO Slams Microsoft over Windows 10 Browser Default

In an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard (pictured) said it's "disturbing" that the new Windows 10 operating system makes it difficult for users to choose anything but Microsoft's Edge as their default browser. Beard is asking Microsoft to reconsider its approach and make user settings with Windows 10 more obvious and intuitive to manage.

Beard, whose organization develops the Firefox Web browser, said Mozilla contacted Microsoft about its concerns after trying out pre-release versions of Windows 10. That outreach "didn't result in any meaningful progress," he noted, resulting in his decision to publish the open letter to Nadella.

Among the many updates delivered along with Windows 10, which launched on Wednesday, is the debut of Edge, Microsoft's successor to its aging Internet Explorer browser. Installing Windows 10 automatically sets Edge as a user's default browser.

We reached out to Microsoft to get the company's response to Beard's criticism. "We designed Windows 10 to provide a simple upgrade experience for users and a cohesive experience following the upgrade," a Microsoft spokesperson told us. "During the upgrade, consumers have the choice to set defaults, including for Web browsing. Following the upgrade, they can easily choose the default browser of their choice. As with all aspects of the product, we have designed Windows 10 as a service; if we learn from user experience that there are ways to make improvements, we will do so."

'A Dramatic Step Backwards'

"Sometimes we see great progress, where consumer products respect individuals and their choices," Beard noted in his letter. "However, with the launch of Windows 10 we are deeply disappointed to see Microsoft take such a dramatic step backwards."

The new OS, "appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience they want,...

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