Microsoft breaks the Chrome button that appears to be intentionally causing difficulties for Google Chrome users on Windows that sets it as the default browser. This move further emphasizes Microsoft’s desire for users to utilize its own Edge browser instead of Chrome, its main competitor.
Microsoft breaks Chrome button Impacts Users
- Firstly, the Windows 10 update KB5025221, released in April, introduced unusual behavior affecting corporate systems.
- Windows 11 22H2 (build KB5026039) and Windows 11 21H2 (build KB5025224) experienced similar issues.
- Chrome users who set the browser as default now find the default apps page opening each time they run Chrome.
- Interestingly, this issue does not affect Firefox users.
Microsoft breaks Chrome button | A Targeted Attack on Chrome?
Renaming Chrome appears to be a simple workaround for the problem, suggesting that Windows’ strange behavior is specifically aimed at Google’s browser. For home users, the issue is less severe. Chrome’s button for setting it as the default browser stopped working after the Windows update. Firefox’s default browser button remains functional, further highlighting the targeted nature of the problem.
Microsoft’s Response and Google’s Fix
Gizmodo reached out to Microsoft for comment. The company only provided a link to a post discussing new policies for pinning apps and changing default programs. Google confirmed the issue but declined further comment. Furthermore, they removed the button for setting Chrome as the default browser, which resolved the problem.
Previous Attempts to Push Edge Over Chrome
Microsoft has a history of promoting Edge over Chrome and other browsers. In early Windows 11 previews, users had to change all file extensions and associated protocols to use a different default browser. Windows 10 displayed search results that included Edge as a recommended app when users searched for Chrome, Firefox, or other browsers. Windows 10 would also show a pop-up promoting Edge when users tried to download Chrome or Firefox. A preview version of Edge even displayed an advertisement for the browser on Chrome’s download page.
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Microsoft’s decision to break the Chrome button for setting the default browser on Windows demonstrates the company’s ongoing efforts to push its own Edge browser over its competitors. While this move may frustrate Chrome users, it remains to be seen whether these tactics will have a lasting impact on browser preferences or if Microsoft will face backlash for these actions.