Microsoft’s browser rivals aren’t happy after it made switching defaults easier

Microsoft's rivals have hit back against the company's recent change to its stance on picking a default browser

The company that got into so much trouble in the 1990s for trying to squeeze rivals made an interesting change with Windows 11: obscuring the option to change the default browser, limiting it to only technically capable users and the very motivated. 

Anyone using Windows 10 could easily change the default with a single click, something that a lot of people did. But that all changed for anyone updating to Microsoft's latest OS. 

All change

While Edge isn't a bad browser, making it the default and then hiding the settings to change that does kind of stink, a point made loudly by its rivals. 

Microsoft even took it a step further and began funnelling links from its services, including the Start Menu, into Edge as well. 

All of that changed in a recent update, however, when Microsoft reintroduced an easy one-click process for changing the default – but instead of being pleased, some of the biggest names in the browser market have now hit back.

Old grudges, widely held

Speaking to The Register, Microsoft's rivals were still not happy with the company and its attempts to make Edge into a dominant browser.

“It has always been our stance that Microsoft, and others like them, should make it easy for users to choose to use the products that suit them,” said Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner. “This should apply to all users, not just the ones who are technically competent enough to realize that they need to install an optional update, and know how to actually do so. It should be installed for all users.” 

“While they have made an attempt, the fact that it has been done the way it has leads to the assumption that it is only being done to avoid being prosecuted for anticompetitive behavior, not to actually solve the underlying problem.”

Mozilla, which actually found a way around the changes, was similarly critical.

“People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults and all operating systems should offer official developer support for default status,” the company said.

“In practice, we'd like to also see progress on reducing the number of steps required to set a new browser as default, and on opening and making APIs available for apps to set default that other Microsoft applications use.”

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Microsoft’s browser rivals aren’t happy after it made switching defaults easier

Microsoft's rivals have hit back against the company's recent change to its stance on picking a default browser

The company that got into so much trouble in the 1990s for trying to squeeze rivals made an interesting change with Windows 11: obscuring the option to change the default browser, limiting it to only technically capable users and the very motivated. 

Anyone using Windows 10 could easily change the default with a single click, something that a lot of people did. But that all changed for anyone updating to Microsoft's latest OS. 

All change

While Edge isn't a bad browser, making it the default and then hiding the settings to change that does kind of stink, a point made loudly by its rivals. 

Microsoft even took it a step further and began funnelling links from its services, including the Start Menu, into Edge as well. 

All of that changed in a recent update, however, when Microsoft reintroduced an easy one-click process for changing the default – but instead of being pleased, some of the biggest names in the browser market have now hit back.

Old grudges, widely held

Speaking to The Register, Microsoft's rivals were still not happy with the company and its attempts to make Edge into a dominant browser.

“It has always been our stance that Microsoft, and others like them, should make it easy for users to choose to use the products that suit them,” said Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner. “This should apply to all users, not just the ones who are technically competent enough to realize that they need to install an optional update, and know how to actually do so. It should be installed for all users.” 

“While they have made an attempt, the fact that it has been done the way it has leads to the assumption that it is only being done to avoid being prosecuted for anticompetitive behavior, not to actually solve the underlying problem.”

Mozilla, which actually found a way around the changes, was similarly critical.

“People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults and all operating systems should offer official developer support for default status,” the company said.

“In practice, we'd like to also see progress on reducing the number of steps required to set a new browser as default, and on opening and making APIs available for apps to set default that other Microsoft applications use.”

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DoorDash is about to make cash-strapped students very happy

Cash-strapped students might start thinking about delivery that still fits within their limited food budget after DoorDash launched a new low-cost subscription plan for its DashPass service.

The aptly named DashPass for Students will run you back $ 5 per month, half of the cost of a normal subscription and it’s a more budget-friendly alternative for students to get food delivery, groceries, and more from partnered retailers. There’s also the Annual Student Plan, which is $ 48 annually.

DashPass Perks

With the subscription service, you won’t have to pay any delivery fees so long as you hit the minimum subtotal, though that only applies to certain orders. The minimum isn’t a very high threshold; it’s $ 12 for restaurant orders and $ 25 for groceries. You will also get 10 percent off orders in the form of reduced service fees.

Students will also get five percent credit back on Pickup orders, but only for certain restaurants. There will also be members-only promotions and exclusive menu items like the blindingly red Flamin’ Hot Nacho Wings from Buffalo Wild Wings. These wings are meant to promote the new subscription tier.

All undergraduate and graduate students at an accredited college or university in the United States are eligible to become members. There’s also a 30-day free trial of DashPass for Students so people can try it out before committing.

Brand new market

It appears that DoorDash is capitalizing on a new market as the announcement cited a recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research, which found that 70 percent of college students order food on a delivery app an average of four times a week. DoorDash goes on to note that, according to the survey, 27 percent of students spend more than $ 100 a week on delivery alone.

Other services have done the same thing or, at least, something similar. Grubhub has its own paid subscription service for students called Grubhub+ Student in conjunction with Amazon.

That service launched back in 2021 and students don’t have to pay extra to use the service or pay for delivery. All you have to do is tie an Amazon Prime Student account to your Grubhub+ account to become eligible.

Grubhub+ Student is still available and shares the same $ 12 minimum on orders, but there’s nothing for groceries and no standalone service.

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iPhone 6 users can no longer access Twitter, and they’re not happy

The latest update to the Twitter app has killed off support for iOS 12, with the latest version of the app now requiring iOS 14 or later in order to function – and that means users of the iPhone 6, which can’t be updated beyond iOS 12, can no longer access all of Twitter’s features. 

While we can’t get hold of an iPhone 6 to see for ourselves, users across Twitter have been complaining about losing access to many features on their phones, following the update.

Without the option to upgrade beyond iOS 12, it’s plain to see why iPhone 6 users, along with owners of the iPad Air and 6th-generation iPod Touch, are a bit miffed about the Twitter app's latest requirement.

Users stuck on iOS 12 report that while they can still see tweets on their timeline, the rest of the app no longer functions correctly. 

Thankfully for users who are still clinging to their iPhone 6, it is not a completely lost cause, as it is still possible to use Twitter on the device, as the web client still functions without issue, but it’s hardly a perfect solution/it’s no substitute for the full app experience.


Analysis: a shocking twist that was a long time coming

Although the loss of full app functionality has come as a shock to many iPhone 6 users, the demise of Twitter on iOS 12 has been a long time coming, as the social media giant officially dropped support for the nearly four-year-old operating system in early 2021. 

Even after official support for the app stopped on iOS 12, iPhone 6 users were still able to enjoy the core functionality of the app, albeit without the new features of the latest versions. 

Looking at the numbers though, it’s no surprise that Twitter will have wanted to scuttle the older version of the app. According to Apple, only 2% of iPhone users are still using a version of iOS that’s older than iOS 14, which makes maintaining an aging version of the Twitter app a largely worthless but nonetheless costly endeavor. 

Regardless of the fact that this decision only affects 2% of Apple’s users who have stuck with their seven-year-old devices, it’s nevertheless a reminder that planned obsolescence is very much an issue that will come for all our devices eventually. 

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