Mozilla whines about defaults in Windows 10

Chris Beard at Mozilla writes,

When we first saw the Windows 10 upgrade experience that strips users of their choice by effectively overriding existing user preferences for the Web browser and other apps, we reached out to your team to discuss this issue. Unfortunately, it didn’t result in any meaningful progress, hence this letter.

We appreciate that it’s still technically possible to preserve people’s previous settings and defaults, but 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.

When you upgrade to Windows 10, it actually asks you what you want your defaults to be. It’s very clear how to change them:


What part of, “Clear the check boxes to keep using your current defaults” does Chris Beard at Mozilla not understand? This is a publicity stunt hinging on Mozilla’s ‘values’ and their stance on privacy.

I think the real problem here is that they’re worried that people will find that Microsoft Edge is better than Firefox (which I think it is, in usability and performance) and stop using Firefox, and Mozilla will miss out on ad revenue from their controversial new tab page.

If you miss the giant checkbox screen, you can search “Default Programs” in the Start menu, and set Firefox as the default just as you did in previous versions of Windows. I really don’t see the problem here. There’s no extra difficulty, no extra clicks. Default Programs shows up when you search “set default” in the Start menu too, so it’s not like less savvy users will not know how to set their default browser.

Has Chris Beard not used Windows in the past decade?