I’ve been using web browsers on my computer for such a long time. Things are more harmonious now but there was a time when a website was actually only guaranteed to work with a specific browser. If you’ve been around for a while online, you’ll absolutely remember the advice that “This site works better with …” or “This site requires …”
Things have change and moved on. These days, any web browser works with any web site. We’ve moved on to worry more about web browsers giving up our personal information to websites that exist to collect that information for customized advertising or worse things.
There really was a time when I was developing websites that I had to test to make sure that it worked with Internet Explorer or Netscape or Safari. As a result, I’ve got into the habit of having more than one web browser on my computer and I still mess around with different browsers for a week at a time or so. Generally, most of them do a good job but voicEd Radio, for one, specifically requires Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. I just have to remember to use one of them before the Wednesday This Week in Ontario Edublogs show.
With the release of Windows 11, the rules had changed. Microsoft has redesigned its Edge browser from the ground up based upon open source Chromium code and feel that they’ve done a good enough job, I guess, to demand that we use it.
Now, in the strictest sense, you can change the default browser to others although it does take considerable effort. You have to change the default browser for each file type. That really defeats the purpose of the click to set as a default browser in all other browsers.
To make things worse, there is a new URL type that will only open in Edge no matter what you have set as a default browser. So, you could be in another browser and, should you click one of these links, Edge will open and display it.
But things look like they’re about to change.
Who knows what happened? It was on the design block? There are things that Edge can’t do? Were there threats of lawsuits about proprietory use? It’s just the right thing to do?
If you read the article, the change is still available only for developers so the rest of us will just have to wait. It might come soon; it might come later; it might not come at all. I’m hoping for the first open because I do have a few different browsers installed.
The real irony is that I have been using the Edge browser and I quite like it. It’s not the Internet Explorer of old – they’ve taken the Chromium code and made a terrific browser. I’m not quite ready yet to make it my sole browser though.