Ever since Chromium moved its browser to basics, Microsoft seems to have gotten bloodshed: it wants to convince Windows users not to choose another browser over Edge accidentally. They do this aggressively at times, so it’s understandable if this knocks out collateral over competitors.
We have previously reported how Microsoft is trying to increase its browser market share. And that wasn’t the first time, and more are likely to come to convince users.
However, some are overwhelmed by this. For example, the first person in the company to develop the free Vivaldi browser, which includes an ad and tracking blocker. Jon von Tetzchner says Microsoft is desperately trying to prevent users from installing a different browser and using it instead of Edge. “Vivaldi isn’t afraid to compete on a level playing field, but why isn’t Microsoft doing it?” The CEO asks in his blog post, then details the Calvary he went through when he tried to download Vivaldi as an alternative browser, supported by screenshots.
“Microsoft’s moves seem desperate. And yet familiar. They don’t want you to use other browsers. They even offer to pay to use the browser through their Microsoft Rewards program. This is not the behavior of a confident company that develops an excellent browser. It belongs to a company that openly abuses its influential position and forces users to use the inferior product simply because it can. What if it’s not a monopoly?” Tetzchner says.
He also adds that the U.S. and EU competition authorities are currently focusing on Google, Apple, and Facebook, for a good reason, of course. However, it is essential not to forget about Microsoft. They are not focused and are trying to take advantage of this opportunity to make it harder for users to use a different browser under Windows. Since Microsoft is the dominant player in the operating system market, it is being abused as a cause for concern – and it deserves close investigation.
For his part, the head of Vivaldi will request an investigation against Microsoft for this anti-competitive practice. The Redmondians have not responded yet.