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Microsoft's Bing might soon replace Google as the default Firefox search engine
by Sayan Sen
Mozilla is currently testing Microsoft's Bing as the default search engine for Firefox according to its latest SUMO study announcement for the month of September. The post states that since the 6th of this month, about 1% of the total Firefox desktop user base has been subjected to this early testing. Mozilla expects this testing phase to continue for about five months and be completed by January next year.
For those unfamiliar, SUMO stands for SUpport.MOzilla.org and according to the browser giant, these studies are "a part of optimizing the Firefox experience" for all users. A list of "Completed studies" is available for viewing if you run "about:studies" in the browser's address bar.
While we aren't sure why Mozilla may want to replace Google as the default search engine for Firefox with Bing, German blogger Sören Hentzschel speculates that the Mozilla team could be experimenting with Microsoft's Bing for the future as the current Mozilla-Google search deal is expected to end next year. So Bing might be the safety net for Mozilla in case the search contract with Google isn't extended further.
Via: Sören Hentzschel
By Usama Jawad96
PSA: Microsoft is ending support for Silverlight next month
by Usama Jawad
Silverlight is Microsoft's framework for the development of web applications. It was released in 2007 and its most recent release came almost three years ago. As of now, the legacy framework is only supported on Internet Explorer, and that is set to change soon as well. Silverlight is reaching end of support on October 12, 2021, as pointed out by Tero Alhonen on Twitter.
The writing's been on the wall for quite some time now for Silverlight. Silverlight 4 was the primary development platform for Windows Phone, and we all know what happened to that. Even way back in 2011, we had former Microsoft executives proclaiming the death of Silverlight. Netflix transitioned from Silverlight to HTML5 in 2013 too. Microsoft Edge does not support Silverlight outside of IE mode, Google Chrome ended support for it in September 2015, and Mozilla Firefox did the same in March 2017.
The dedicated Microsoft Silverlight portal shows a banner about impending end of support and points to a support document detailing some more information.
Microsoft says that until the end of support date on October 12, it will continue providing technical assistance to customers using Silverlight 5 only. This includes paid support for Silverlight applications running on Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) on the following platforms:
Windows 10 Windows Server 2016 Windows 8.1 Windows Server 2012 R2 Windows Server 2012 Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Windows Embedded 8 Standard POSReady 7 Thin PC 7 Microsoft has emphasized that it is not planning any move to kill off Silverlight applications but it is important to note that software running on this framework will not get any security or feature updates. Similarly, customers who purchased Silverlight perpetual licenses are still legally licensed to utilize it, without support. No customer is eligible for extended support past October 12, even if they offer to pay for it. The company has also warned that the perpetual Silverlight license cannot be redistributed.
After the aforementioned date, the Silverlight portal will still be accessible, but it will not offer an installer. For web-based applications, Microsoft has recommended Blazor as an alternative, while WinUI 3 with Windows App SDK has been encouraged if you're considering moving to a desktop-based application not dependent upon the browser.
Although Internet Explorer 11 - the last browser that currently supports Silverlight - is being phased out, Microsoft says that Silverlight apps will continue to work in IE mode in Edge.
By Usama Jawad96
Mozilla bypasses Microsoft, makes it easier to set Firefox as default browser in Windows
by Usama Jawad
Changing the default apps such as browsers in Microsoft Windows 10 is not a straightforward process. While this means that users have to jump through extra hoops to set up, let's say, Mozilla Firefox as their default browser, it also means that vendors such as Mozilla face more competition from Microsoft's own offering, which is Edge. The bad news is that in Windows 11, this is becoming even more cumbersome for end-users and vendors as the OS requires users to change the default browser for each type of extension individually.
Clearly tired of Microsoft's antics, as hinted by the company previously, Mozilla has now decided to bypass the Redmond tech giant's UI altogether. As reported by The Verge, Firefox 91 (which was released on August 10) now allows you to change the default browser directly from within the browser itself, instead of guiding users to the Settings app in Windows.
This has essentially been done by reverse-engineering Microsoft's own one-click process for Edge, such that it works for Firefox too, and does not require user interaction beyond a single confirmation click. You can see it in action, courtesy of The Verge, below:
A Mozilla spokesperson stated that:
On the other hand, Microsoft has cautioned that this is not a "supported" methodology to change default apps in Windows as it circumvents the anti-hijacking protections the company baked in to the OS against malware.
As of now, the method works in Windows 10 and Windows 11. It will be interesting to see if other vendors also decide to take a leaf from Mozilla's book, or if Microsoft puts a stop to this - without coming in the crosshairs of antitrust authorities, that is.
by Razvan Serea
Firefox is a fast, full-featured Web browser. It offers great security, privacy, and protection against viruses, spyware, malware, and it can also easily block pop-up windows. The key features that have made Firefox so popular are the simple and effective UI, browser speed and strong security capabilities.
Firefox has complete features for browsing the Internet. It is very reliable and flexible due to its implemented security features, along with customization options. Firefox includes pop-up blocking, tab-browsing, integrated Google search, simplified privacy controls, a streamlined browser window that shows you more of the page than any other browser and a number of additional features that work with you to help you get the most out of your time online.
Beginning in 89, you’ll notice a number of changes, including:
Simplified browser chrome and toolbar: Less frequently used items removed to focus on the most important navigation items. Clear, streamlined menus: Re-organized and prioritized menu content according to usage. Updated labels and removed iconography.
Updated prompts: Infobars, panels, and modals have a cleaner design and clearer language.
Inspired tab design: Floating tabs neatly contain information and surface cues when you need them, like visual indicators for audio controls. The rounded design of the active tab supports focus and signals the ability to easily move the tab as needed.
Fewer interruptions: Reduced number of alerts and messages, so you can browse with fewer distractions.
Cohesive, calmer visuals: Lighter iconography, a refined color palette, and more consistent styling throughout.
Firefox 92.0 release notes:
More secure connections: Firefox can now automatically upgrade to HTTPS using HTTPS RR as Alt-Svc headers. Full-range color levels are now supported for video playback on many systems. Mac users can now access the macOS share options from the Firefox File menu. Support for images containing ICC v4 profiles is enabled on macOS. Fixed
Firefox performance with screen readers and other accessibility tools is no longer severely degraded if Mozilla Thunderbird is installed or updated after Firefox. macOS VoiceOver now correctly reports buttons and links marked as ‘expanded’ using the aria-expanded attribute. An open alert in a tab no longer causes performance issues in other tabs using the same process. Various security fixes Changed
Various bug fixes and new policies have been implemented in the latest version of Firefox. See more details in the Firefox for Enterprise 92 Release Notes. Download: Firefox 92.0 for Windows | Firefox 64-bit | ~50.0 MB (Freeware)
Download: Firefox 92.0 for Linux | 64-bit | ~70.0 MB
Download: Firefox for MacOS | 127.0 MB
View: Firefox Home Page | Release Notes
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By Steven P.
EdgeDeflector v188.8.131.52 released, lets you force Windows 11 to use preferred browser
by Steven Parker
EdgeDeflector changes the behavior of the new News and Interests widget in Windows 10 which is now forced on everyone by default, and ignores using your default browser when links are opened from it. This little tool changes how Windows 10 stubbornly defaults to the Edge browser to open links from Help dialogs, Cortana and News and Interests, and instead forces it to respect what you chose in the Default apps > Web browser settings of Windows.
The developer of EdgeDeflector has released a new version on GitHub bringing it up to version 184.108.40.206 a couple of months after releasing 220.127.116.11 which cleaned up unused code. The release notes are included below:
Happily, this little tool also works in Windows 11, despite Microsoft making it very hard to switch from the default apps, which is just another thing people are unhappy about with Windows 11.
If you are on Windows 11, the process to switch to another browser is slightly different than that with Windows 10 (which is explained later in this article). To set Chrome or another browser as default:
Install EdgeDeflector, Open Start > Settings > Apps > Default Apps, Scroll to the bottom of that page, select Choose defaults by link type, Search for MICROSOFT-EDGE, Select URL:MICROSOFT-EDGE, EdgeDeflector should be listed as a choice, choose it > Select OK. The first time you open a link from within Windows like a Widget, you will be prompted to choose a browser, and there you can select Chrome, or Opera or whatever other browser you have installed.
As you can see from the video above, EdgeDeflector forces Windows 11 to respect the default browser when opening links from Widgets... nice!
To use in Windows 10, follow the steps below:
Download and install EdgeDeflector v18.104.22.168 from the Releases page on GitHub, Go to All settings > Apps > Default apps, Scroll to the bottom and click Choose default apps by protocol, Locate MICROSOFT-EDGE in the list and click on the program icon to the right of it, Select EdgeDeflector from the list. Confirm the change if asked to. The above process is also detailed here, which also lets you reverse the above steps, if needed. If you want to learn more about how EdgeDeflector works and why it was created, you can visit the developer's blog post on it, here.
Source: EdgeDeflector on GitHub