Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Operating Systems Windows Cloud Google Microsoft Software

You Can't Change the Default Browser or Switch To Google Search In Windows 10 S ( 302

BrianFagioli quotes a report from BetaNews: If developers do start leveraging the Windows Store, the Windows 10 S experiment could take off, as users won't find a need to install legacy programs. This will largely depend on web browsers being available there, as many users dislike Edge. Thankfully, Microsoft is allowing third-party browser installs from the Windows Store. Unfortunately, there is a big catch -- you cannot change the default. Buried in the Windows 10 S FAQ, the following question is presented -- "Are there any defaults that I cannot change on my Windows 10 S PC?" Microsoft provides the answer: "Yes, Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Microsoft 10 S. You are able to download another browser that might be available from the Windows Store, but Microsoft Edge will remain the default if, for example, you open an .htm file. Additionally, the default search provider in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer cannot be changed."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

You Can't Change the Default Browser or Switch To Google Search In Windows 10 S

Comments Filter:
  • by SlashDread ( 38969 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @06:05AM (#54347067)

    an anti-trust investigator wokeup.

    • yeah, this is a dumb way to ship the new surface laptop. i'd sort of get some BS artificial limitation on a cheap-ass chromebook competitor--i mean, it would still be dumb, but id sort of expect it.

      but on a surface? that you can unlock for more money? that is dumbness. i dont think this is going to go that damn well.

    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @07:49AM (#54347557) Homepage Journal

      They'd point at ChromeOS, which supposedly Windows S is supposed to compete with, and say "Well, you can't change the default from Chrome there, right?"

      The people who'll be taking notice will not be anti-trust investigators, but the schools etc that were considering this OS. Edge has yet to shake off IE's reputation for poor security, and with the best will in the world, with S supposedly sandboxed up the wazoo, I just don't see anyone who's seriously making a choice between ChromeBooks and Windows S-books saying "Oh, sure, they're both as secure, we'll go with Windows".

      I think this is probably the deal breaker, and means Windows S is dead in the water.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

        Edge has yet to shake off IE's reputation for poor security

        No Edge has done that already. They have a new reputation of being unable to render simple websites and breaking more than providing content.

        I just don't see anyone who's seriously making a choice between ChromeBooks and Windows S-books saying "Oh, sure, they're both as secure, we'll go with Windows".

        If there's one thing that is actually certain here, it's that security will not come into consideration at all.

      • by Ralgha ( 666887 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @11:20AM (#54348743)
        Edge is actually very secure, primarily because it doesn't work with most websites.
    • an anti-trust investigator wokeup.

      Maybe, but he just went back to sleep after looking at his "commission" that he gets from M$ for keeping his mouth shut.

    • Incidentally, the headline for TFS is one excellent answer to YFS's headline question: Ask Slashdot: What Is the 'Special Appeal' of Apple Products? []

      For all the talk of "walled gardens," Microsoft has been demonstrating for years that they'd love to put up the same wall around an uglier garden.
    • A slashdotter that looks at Apples locked rendering engine in iOS and sees no action is laughing.

  • by arglebargle_xiv ( 2212710 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @06:06AM (#54347071)
    ... "I guess the S stands for Shit"?
    • According to the summary, the S stands for sexperiment:

      If developers do start leveraging the Windows Store, the Windows 10 S experiment could take off,

    • I think "shart" says it all.

      You think it might be one thing, so you go for it, but discover it's something else entirely.

    • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @09:52AM (#54348153)

      ... "I guess the S stands for Shit"?

      Ah, but that is the selling point, you see, just listen to this wise tale:

      In the beginning was the plan, and then the specification;
        And the plan was without form, and the specification was void.
        And darkness was on the faces of the implementors thereof;
        And they spake unto their leader, saying:
        "It is a crock of shit, and smells as of a sewer."
        And the leader took pity on them, and spoke to the project leader:
        "It is a crock of excrement, and none may abide the odor thereof."
        And the project leader spake unto his section head, saying:
        "It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide it."
        The section head then hurried to his department manager, and informed him thus:
        "It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."
        The department manager carried these words to his general manager, and spoke unto him saying:
        "It containeth that which aideth the growth of plants, and it is very strong."
        And so it was that the general manager rejoiced and delivered the good news unto the Vice President.
        "It promoteth growth, and it is very powerful."
        The Vice President rushed to the President's side, and joyously exclaimed:
        "This powerful new software product will promote the growth of the company!"
        And the President looked upon the product, and saw that it was very good.


  • Playing with fire (Score:5, Insightful)

    by evolutionary ( 933064 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @06:13AM (#54347099)
    This is getting into anti-trust law violation borderline. Even in the USA, they could get burned for this like they did with the Internet Explorer. Some people never learn. We should all just switch to Linux.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @06:24AM (#54347139)

      It worked last time. Netscape was destroyed. That was worth the eventual fine,

      Let's say this time it takes three years to go through the courts and all the appeals. Then they get a billion dollar fine. That is peanuts to Microsoft. They are facing an existential threat from Google and Chrome.

      • The world is quite different than 1998. Back then, Microsoft owned the operating system that dominated the consumer and enterprise world. It had the leverage to destroy just about any competing software, simply because those competitors had to run their software in a Microsoft ecosystem (remember how it destroyed Lotus 1-2-3).

        Now, while MS still dominates the desktop, the desktop itself is become more marginalized as smartphones become if not primary computing devices, then heavily used computing devices. A

      • Netscape wasn't "destroyed". It was reincarnated as Firefox. kind of like the Phoenix. :D
        • Netscape, the company, was destroyed by Microsoft's antics. Releasing Netscape Navigator's source code (which eventually became Firefox) was the last ditch nuclear option. It did not work in saving the company as Netscape had hoped. But the move did (eventually) break Microsoft's stranglehold on the web browser market when Microsoft, having toppled their only perceived competitor, stopped innovating with Internet Explorer 6.

          • by Gregg M ( 2076 )

            Netscape, the company, was destroyed by Microsoft's antics.

            If being bought by AOL for 4.5 billion dollars is being destroyed then sign me up! AOL on the other hand, did nothing with Netscape. They could have rolled it into the AOL software giving it a big boost in market share. They could have made the Netscape home page the most valuable page in the world.

      • It won't because it's not a continuation of a product line. This is a new product in a market not dominated by MS in any way and their market share as it stands is 0% with no upgrade path from previous devices to consider to this product. Therefore it can't be in any breach of anti-trust laws.

        They are facing an existential threat from Google and Chrome.

        They are not. They are opening into a market they weren't in previously. Microsoft itself is marking money hand over fist competing in the cloud market. There's nothing existential about them. And actually right now as

    • I had to search to find out what Microsoft 10 S is - it's apparently Microsoft's solution to Chrome OS, which also doesn't allow you to change your browser. It also doesn't allow you to install programs that are in the Windows Store, like the Chomebook. If you want a fully functional OS, then you have to pay for it.

      I set up a Raspberry PI "Print Server" for a friend that allows his old printer to be shared over Google Cloud Print, so his daughter can print from her Chromebook because you can't install print

    • This is getting into anti-trust law violation borderline.

      Doubt it. In their current target market their market share is 0% with heavy competition from ChromeOS and iOS.

      If this happened on their standard desktop OS there would be hell to pay, but Windows 10S seems anything from "standard".

  • Windows RT Mark 2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ReluctantRefactorer ( 223101 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @06:14AM (#54347105)

    Windows 10 S is the walled-garden edition, so this is not surprising (but still a silly move from MS). I predict Windows 10 S will fail for the same reason that Windows RT failed: The inability to run "legacy" (desktop) Windows programs.

    • When Windows 10 was announced, I'm sure they said "this will be the last version of Windows". However, here we are and they're making an "S" variant. This one's guaranteed to be so insecure that 'the safety of the cloud' will mean nothing at all because your access to it will be riddled with malware.

      I'd say they'd be better off giving these away to corporate customers or something to get their market share up. They also need to pay loads of devs to fill up the app store with free apps. Of course, never gonn

      • by Megol ( 3135005 )

        They never said they wouldn't make special versions of Windows... And the last version blah was about changing the distribution and update model of the operating system.

        But I guess you just wanted to rant without worrying about getting anything right? If so you succeeded, congratulations!

    • by NetNed ( 955141 )
      Google's products are not exactly open source either. Search results are getting more and more controlled from what I have seen. The suggested search is the first proof of this. But yes, if 10 S can not run the legacy stuff it will not be long for this world.
    • Windows RT didn't fail because it was unable to run legacy windows programs. It failed because it wasn't clear that it was unable to run legacy windows programs at a time where every computing device was expected to be able to run windows programs.

      Windows RT was a victim of it's time. If there's anything we've learnt in the past 5 years it's that there's a LOT of people who are perfectly happy with the idea of a computer being something that opens a browser from which they do everything.

    • It won't fail. It's cheaper for OEMs to include and less things can go wrong on it. No more bonsai buddy toolbar cleanups etc. Harder for app piracy to take place. The publishers, users, and manufacturers will see it as a win.

      The only people who will be upset are more hard core users, and they've shown much tenacity when it comes to putting up with the crap Windows throws at them. Windows' share is about the same even after Vista, Win8, and Win10 shenanigans, and die hards are sticking to Win7 come hell or

  • Back in the day, when computing meant desktop, when most people used wintel boxes at work and so bought wintel machines for their homes, when being kicked out of the windows desktop etc meant certain death to the application, such moves surely helped Microsoft. Might have hurt them in the long run, but that is debatable.

    In this day and age, not being able to change browser default might actually hurt Windows. It is not 1996 anymore. On the other hand, browser might not even matter anymore nor the search e

  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @06:35AM (#54347191)

    Fines about these should work exponentially. So if the first one is 1000, the second should be 1000^2 and the third 1000^3.
    They should also be based on the income (not profit) of the company. for the first one.

    It should also be linked to the CxOs, so if they pull of the same at a different company, the same fine applies.

    OTOH they paid for their politicians fair and square, so there's that.

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      Fines about these should work exponentially. So if the first one is 1000, the second should be 1000^2 and the third 1000^3.

      So, the more valuable the currency unit is, the steeper the slope.
      If the first fine is in 2009 Zimbabwean dollars, the second one will be worth more than the entire world economy.

  • A product they are keeping around to support legacy business applications is still on a machine focused on education? No wonder Edge is losing, it can't even beat out its predecessor.
  • Chromebook (Score:2, Insightful)

    Try to change the default browser on a Chromebook....but let's bash Microsoft because it is so much fun!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by wierd_w ( 1375923 )


      Step 1) Install MrChromebox []
      Step 2 (full UEFI installed) Install Linux (or Windows []), Or OSX []
      Step 2A (Legacy boot)) Install GalliumOS []

      Step 3) Configure a new default browser of your choosing, and be free from Google's obsession with tracking everything you do, and owning your documents.

    • Webkit (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @07:05AM (#54347335) Homepage

      The real issue is that Edge/IE are not Webkit based browsers, which mean that they are unpredictable when viewing/accessing certain content.

      If Edge displayed pages & content in exactly the same way as:
      - Chrome
      - Safari
      - Firefox
      - Opera
      - etc.
      then I don't think there would be the same outcry by locking in the browsers.

      • Re:Webkit (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Wootery ( 1087023 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @07:19AM (#54347409)

        If only there were a total monoculture for the web, huh?

        No. I, for one, don't want WebKit to be the only game in town. That Mozilla and Microsoft are still maintaining their own rendering-engines is a good thing. (Especially considering that Microsoft is actually doing a good job these days.)

      • What's old is new again, but now we're shooting the underdog instead of cheering them on? Go Microsoft. Lock it down. I hope you get enough of a market share to prevent the entire internet becoming the monoculture that it was back in the IE6 days. There's nothing good about a Webkit only internet.

      • by aitan ( 948581 )

        I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but Firefox uses Gecko, and Chrome and Opera use Blink. Safari is the only mainstream browser that keeps using Webkit.
        So you really need to test all of them and checking that Edge works as expected is not too hard (really, most of the time Edge works out of the box)

    • Chrome OS is basically designed to run the browser and nothing else. I wouldn't expect to be able to change it. Windows can run many browsers, seems like being able to choose the default one would be a feature of such an OS.
    • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @07:10AM (#54347373) Homepage

      This goes with my previous post. With "Chromebook", the name tells you what you get.

      The backlash is over the fact that Microsoft is performing a bait and switch telling you that this is a Windows machine and you should be able to configure it the same way you can with any other Windows machines.

      But, if you're locked in to a browser and you want to compare it against the locked in browser of a "Chromebook", then you need to label it the same way - call it an "Edgebook" and let the market decide whether or not they feel it is superior to the "Chromebook".

      • by c ( 8461 )

        The main problem with "Edgebook" is the lack of brand recognition for "Edge". Mind you, with Microsoft it can sometimes be a good thing that people don't associate a product with their existing stuff.

        Personally, I'm somewhat surprised they didn't double-down on the tone-deafness and call it the "Bingbook"...

      • Microsoft is ... telling you that this is a Windows machine and you should be able to configure it the same way you can with any other Windows machines.

        Where is Microsoft telling you that?

        You don't think the big "S" in the name means anything? Did you also assume "98", "XP", "7", etc. would all behave identically?

      • performing a bait and switch

        By telling you up front what it can and can't do?

        Great idea there.

    • ....but let's bash Microsoft because it is so much fun!

      Ok! Windows Phone! Clippy! IE! Azure!
      But to be fair, it's nice to see MS participating in online forums, even if they need to use paid shills to do it.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @07:11AM (#54347375)

    If you're still buying something to use with any variant of Windows 10 then you are just begging to be abused. If you buy this, you are just getting the abuse you paid to receive.

  • Chromebook (Score:5, Insightful)

    by puddingebola ( 2036796 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @07:14AM (#54347381) Journal
    Not being able to change the default browser, well, Microsoft's response is you can't do that on a Chromebook either. As for not being able to change default search, they are getting sued. Maybe they don't plan to sell it in Europe and can get away with it. It's not like you can't type in the URL bar, but Chrome, for example, gives you the choices of Yahoo, Bing, Ask, and AOL on a Chrombook.
    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      I run Firefox and Opera on a Chromebook, you can buy them in the Google App Store. Even the Apple App Store has Firefox, Opera etc

      The problem is that Microsoft actively banned Firefox from their App Store and currently does not have any browser build on the Windows Store.

  • I'll use Edge just as much as I'll use Windows 10 C. (It is C for C..p, isn't it? Oh, so it's S for S..t? OK.)

    Then again I'm not in the target market since I destroy Metro (*, **, ***) on every box I own. I guess I keep the store around just because. If I wanted Metro on my server I'd ... well, I don't. Ever.

    * one []
    ** two []
    *** Anniversary Update EXCEPTIONS []
  • Stardock Start10 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

    No I don't work for Stardock. Pay the $5 for Start10. Customize all your registry settings. Re-create quick launch bar. Turn off all the Surface crap that's on by default. Bam, you have the operating system in the format that you most likely want it. I don't even mess with the Windows 8/10 features at all so I forget that Microsoft's Metro UI even exists and all the flaws with its UX.

    I've been running Windows 10 like this for a year-ish with no problems. The only quibble I have is with the Windows Te

    • The only quibble I have is with the Windows Telemetry crap which is difficult to turn-off/thwart. It's do-able though.

      There are several options, e.g. O&O's ShutUp10 [] (awful non-intuitive interface alert) or Spybot's Anti-Beacon [] which also works for Win7 and 8/8.1.

    • The only quibble I have is with the Windows Telemetry crap which is difficult to turn-off/thwart. It's do-able though.

      Oh you are sooo precious... You *actually* believe that the "telemetry" you turn off is actually turning OFF?? or if it does actually turn off that it will STAY turned off... This is Microsoft we're talking about here.. Not the most trustworthy entity out there.. I trust them exactly how far I can throw them... hint: NOT very far at ALL...

      Oh the entertainment value of these endless stories about the latest way MS has found to abuse those who still use their products... I've been MS-free for the last seven

    • Why would I pay money to get rid of something I never see and never use? Start menu? Just hit the windows key and type the name of the application. I couldn't tell you what tiles I have on my metro start menu right now and I use this computer daily. Mind you with 25 icons pinned to the tray the only time I open the start menu is to shut the computer down.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @07:27AM (#54347445)

    When you do shit like this on your desktop systems, it doesn't sink the system, but any time you do this on ... well, anything else, from MP3-players to phones to tablets to ... you name it, it sinks the system.

    Do I really have to put on my consultant hat and charge 1000 bucks an hour when telling you why so you finally believe me and get it?

    You don't get away with it on the desktop because people accept this or even (*snicker*) like that. You get away with it because people have no choice. You get away with being an asshole because people have already sunk too much time, money and staff cost to switch. You get away with it because people are dependent on software that only runs on your OS and they can't put into a VM. That is the ONLY reason people put up with this. If they could, they would dump you faster than a chick that said "oh, and by the way, you should probably get tested" after you fucked her.

    You are not in that position in ANY other area than desktop. You MIGHT get away with it to some degree in the server department. And maybe in the console market, mostly because anyone competing with you is at least as much a dick as you are. But anything like that will NOT be accepted in ANY other market. People will happily dump you and switch to something else because they easily can do so in all other areas.

  • Didn't Microsoft already lose a lawsuit because of exactly this?
  • I bet some guys at Apple are really righfully laughing about this. MS never fails to screw up, do they?

    Any curiosity I had about this thing has vanished in an instant. It's amazing to watch.

  • This whole default browser thing smacks of anti-competitive activity. Microsoft should have ceded the broswer war years ago.
  • Seriously, how long will it take once this is available until there is a 'fix' for this irritation?
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @08:16AM (#54347661)
    Windows 10 S is designed to "normalize" the idea of running Windows without the ability to choose where you install your applications from or what applications are available to you.

    It's Windows RT all over again and I hope it flops as badly. A device capable of running 10 S is capable of running Windows 10. There is no excuse.

  • Microsoft has discovered that they are having trouble competing when the playing field is level, so Microsoft has to forcibly lock customers in, removing customer choice, in order to have their sub-standard products be used.
  • by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @08:50AM (#54347811)
    You're stuck with it on mobile too, and it seriously rapes the shit out of the power regardless of use or settings. I have it on power saving from 100% battery and I'm lucky to have 30% at the end of the day. It's 13:47 now, I'm at work so it's not been on at all really other than at lunch and i'm on 66%. I generally only use it for browsing too with maybe 4 or so tabs on the go.

    Let's have a little look now at the last 24 hours apps with usage shall we.

    Microsoft Edge (never allowed in background) 84%
    Audiobooked 4%
    Groove music 3%
    Start 2%
    Films & TV 1%
    Xbox and then some more all

    It's fucking ridiculous. Unless there's something going on with it that I don't understand but I've seen the articles where they claim edge is good for power but unless the mobile version is vastly different from the desktop that's bullshit. It's probably just too few people to make a fuss and they don't really give a shit.
  • Those who actually accept S as their OS won't care because they aren't the users downloading and installing other browsers. It's a bad move for Microsoft because it brings bad press (and possibly another anti-trust lawsuit). In the real world though the users sticking with S are the same users that click on the blue E anyway. While I would never support a decision like this. I really don't think it does much of anything to an already broken and restricted product.
  • by building top quality alternative OS that is 100% compatible with third party Windows applications and sell it at half the price microsoft sells windows for, i tried ReactOS and found it to be a worse piece of crap than just using wine or virtualbox on Linux
    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      You mean like Linux or Mac?

      Linux has Wine, it's pretty compatible and in Ubuntu, Windows programs can launch simply with a double click.
      Most important productivity programs are open source and available for Linux (Blender, Gimp, OpenOffice, ...)
      Most important "crappy big-name Windows Apps" (Adobe, Autodesk etc) have Mac versions if not Linux versions.

  • Back in the late 80's, early 90's, Apple pretty much gave away computers to public schools. Getting kids use to the Apple ecosystem. The difference is, where Apple has computers, ipads, ipods, phones, watches...MS has...a computer operating system...that's it. No phones, not much of a pad, no real smart watches.
    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Microsoft tried the same tactic as well, giving away Windows systems. It didn't work because even when you give Windows away for free, it's still more expensive than anything else.

  • Microsoft learned nothing from their "RT" experiment.

    If it's labeled "Windows" people expect to be able to run windows apps - yeah like that copy of Photoshop you got a few years ago. Windows customers buying Windows 10 S devices will find out the hard way that their desktop computing experience is now limited to the Windows App store - probably the most sparse app store on the planet.

    For schools deeply entrenched in the G Suite ecosystem, there is no benefit to switching to Microsoft's "Windows Lite" plat

  • In the very good horror movie (still in theaters) Get Out one of the key horror elements (it appears) is that everyone uses Windows phones, the Edge browser and searches on Bing! This brings that horror to real life!

  • Time and time again, Windows succeeds where it can run the broad selection of off-the-shelf software that is available for the existing platform. Windows fails where it cannot leverage that advantage: phones, tablets, (usually) servers, IoT devices, infrastructure OS, supercomputing, you name it. By restricting 10S to "Store Apps" Microsoft is throwing away the only reason people choose Windows in the first place. Uncoincidentally this is the same reason the ARM version of Windows failed to gain any sign
  • but Microsoft Edge will remain the default if, for example, you open an .htm file.

    What is this, the 90s? When was the last time anyone opened an .htm file?

    "When you open a link in another program" would have been a far more up-to-date example.

  • Remember this is basically an embedded OS that is competing directly with Chrome OS.

    Chrome OS also does not allow you to change the browser.

A university faculty is 500 egotists with a common parking problem.