Microsoft and Google Engage in Technical Battle Over Default Browser Settings
In recent years, Microsoft has been promoting its Microsoft Edge browser and attempting to outcompete Google Chrome by employing various tactics. These include displaying a notification bar claiming a better experience when visiting the Google Chrome official website using Edge and enticing users to set Edge as the default browser within Windows 10/11.
Microsoft has not only targeted Chrome but also attempted to hijack Firefox. However, Firefox fought back by adding a one-click option to set itself as the default browser, which goes against Windows 10/11 development principles. Since Edge can also be set as the default, it’s unreasonable to require other browsers to change settings individually.
Beginning in September last year, Chrome tried to bypass this by modifying the registry to set itself as the default browser, similar to Firefox. Upon opening Chrome, users would see a prompt to set it as the default browser. However, this move seemed to have upset Microsoft. Users on Microsoft’s official forum reported that after installing the April cumulative update KB5025221 for Windows 10 22H2, the system would automatically open the default program settings each time Chrome was launched. This issue persisted even after setting Chrome as the default browser or reinstalling it, severely disrupting user experience.
Microsoft has remained silent on the issue, although many users have indicated encountering similar problems. On Google’s official forum, users discovered that uninstalling updates, including KB5025221 for Windows 10 20H2/21H2/22H2, KB5025224 for Windows 11 21H2, and KB5025239 for Windows 11 22H2, would resolve the issue and prevent Chrome from displaying pop-ups.
It remains unclear whether this is a bug or an intentional move by Microsoft. However, the technical battle has not stopped. A new submission in Chromium Review reveals that, starting May 2nd, Google engineers have been attempting to modify the code to restore the one-click default browser setting and resolve the issues caused by the April update.
Although Google has not officially responded to the issue, its engineering team is already preparing for further technical confrontation. It’s expected that, once the patch is approved, it will be quickly pushed to Chrome’s stable version.