Is Windows 10 Playing Fair - Mozilla Thinks Not
Written by Janet Swift   
Friday, 31 July 2015

Windows 10 is free if you upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1, which makes it very attractive to the huge base of existing Windows users. But now the complaints are beginning to be heard.

In our report earlier in the week we pointed to the way that Microsoft is trying to push more of its services to Windows 10 users and making signing in with a Microsoft ID a more frequent requirement than previously.

Something that many people may find off-putting to annoying depending on your existing attitude to sharing your credentials.

Now Mozilla has noted that as well as Microsoft making its new Edge browser the one that greets you when you upgrade, there is an extra and unfamiliar step to replacing it with the alternative of your choice. Having failed to get Microsoft to address this issue, Mozilla's CEO Chris Beard  has now published an open letter to Microsoft with the message: "Don't Roll Back the Clock on Choice and Control".



The complaint is:

the design of the whole upgrade experience and the default settings APIs have been changed to make this less obvious and more difficult. It now takes more than twice the number of mouse clicks, scrolling through content and some technical sophistication for people to reassert the choices they had previously made in earlier versions of Windows. It’s confusing, hard to navigate and easy to get lost.

Specifically, if you use Windows 10 express settings at installation, Edge becomes your browser. If you want Firefox instead, as well as downloading and installing it you have to go to an App settings page and choose it as your default Web Browser. The settings page covers several defaults and if you get hopelessly muddled it is all too easy to click the Revert to the Microsoft recommended defaults and you'll restore Edge without necessarily meaning to.

With Firefox losing ground to Chrome and even to IE it is clear that even a small change in the odds of a user making it their default is going to be a serious concern. 

If your previous web browser was Internet Explorer you'll face the problem of where to find it and may decide to stick with Edge just out of frustration - and as Microsoft allows you to migrate your history, bookmarks and cookies with one simple tick you may well be satisfied with the upgrade.




One thing that comes as a shock to people who have used Windows for decades is that Microsoft has tampered with Solitaire, the card game that has occupied their spare moments since its introduction in Windows 3. In 2012 data from Nielsen, based on metering the home and work computers of its US-based panelists revealed that the average minutes of weekly play for Solitaire exceeded 150 minutes (two and a half hours), see Desktop Games Still Popular for details.

If you want to continue to play, either you will have to put up with adverts or pay a monthly subscription. It looks like a small sum - less than $2. But now multiply that by the number of months you would have paid it had it been introduced in the beginning - over $500 in some cases!

So while Windows 10 may be a free upgrade it may not endear itself even to loyal Windows users. Microsoft may be giving it way for free but it hasn't lost all hope of making some gains from doing so - perhaps not unreasonably.



More Information

Mozilla's Open Letter to Microsoft

Related Articles

Windows 10 - The Trojan Horse

Desktop Games Still Popular


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Last Updated ( Friday, 31 July 2015 )