Mozilla Accuses Tech-Giants For Leveraging Their OS To Drive Users Away From Alternative Browsers.

by | Mar 7, 2024

Google, Apple, and Microsoft have been criticized by Mozilla for actively promoting the operating system’s default browser. It has released a paper highlighting the anticompetitive actions of the digital giants that drive users away from alternative browsers.

MicrosoftEdgeBundled on Windows computers, Xbox consoles
AppleSafariBundled on Mac OS and iOS devices
GoogleChromeBundled on Chrome OS (used on Chromebook computers); Android (smartphones); and operating systems for other Google devices such as Nest
AmazonSilkBundled on Fire OS (used on Fire TV, Echo, Fire tablet devices)”
MetaPortal/Oculus BrowserBundled on the operating systems for Portal”, Oculus75 and other Meta products

Operating System’s Default Search Engines:

Mozilla attacked Microsoft for aggressively attempting to promote its browser via Bing Search, overriding the default browser option to push users to use Edge, and bypassing the default browser preference in Windows 11’s Search to open links and search results in Microsoft Edge. When you utilise the lookup tool on iOS, Safari is used to do a web search. Android follows the same pattern because of the Google widget on the home screen, which directs search requests to the Chrome application.

In certain places, fewer than half of those who responded to the study understood how to change the default browser on their PC or smartphone. Even fewer users — between 10% and 20% — actually changed their browser. According to Mozilla, this may be the result of the lengthy process, which includes using the App Store or Play Store, looking for a browser, downloading it, and designating it as the default browser through the Settings.

Mozilla claims that all of these statistics add up, noting that 65% of Android phone users use Chrome, compared to Apple Safari’s 27% market share on iOS. According to the most recent statistics from a reputed online statistical website, Edge has a little greater user base than Firefox, with a 4.3%, which is just slightly more than Opera’s 2.2% across all platforms (desktop and mobile). Chrome and Safari, with respective rankings of 65.52% and 18.78%, topped the list. After Google stops supporting Manifest V2 extensions, thus destroying ad blocks, I predict that these figures will substantially alter, pushing consumers toward Firefox, Brave, and Vivaldi as a result.

Would this be any different if Chrome and Safari weren’t the default browsers on platforms like Android and iOS? In its study, Mozilla tries to make the case that this is an unfair practise that hurts both users and rival browser manufacturers.

The duopoly of their browsers is the subject of an antitrust investigation by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority into Google and Apple. In a similar vein, the impending Digital Markets Act in the EU would stop large digital corporations from using unfair gatekeeping techniques.

No matter how much we’d like it to, we don’t believe Apple, Microsoft, or Google will ever ask the user which browser they prefer to use.