Living on the Edge

I can't believe I'm going to write an article defending Microsoft. But there's a first time for everything.

The Verge article, With Edge, Microsoft Forced Windows Updates Just Sank to a New Low, is about the recent move by Microsoft to strongly encourage users to install the Chromium-based Edge on Windows 10.

But it's mostly a pile of click-bait garbage.

I'm no fan of forced updates, though I do believe they are necessary to protect non-technical user's security. And I don't like software installed without my permission. But let's be honest--this happens all the time with nearly every other system.

  • Apple's iOS and Google's Android recently pushed an update that paved the way for COVID-19 tracking.
  • Android didn't originally come with Google Chrome, but Chrome was installed via an update to most phones. It is now a critical part of Android.
  • iOS doesn't allow other browser technologies, so software developers have to put a shell around Safari to release browsers on that platform.
  • iOS users cannot change their default browser from Safari.
  • iOS users cannot change their default email client.
  • Google Chromebooks come with Chrome and this browser cannot be replaced.
  • Many Android phones come pre-installed with applications you cannot delete. Unless you disable them, they will continue to receive updates without your permission.

Microsoft Edge is actually pretty decent. I haven't been using it for long, but it does use less battery on my laptop than Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

I'm aware that Edge, like Google Chrome, probably sends some data back to its mother ship, but unless you're running Linux, this is happening without your consent anyway. I'm certainly against that, but, in recent months, have come to accept this fact. As a society, we probably shouldn't accept it, but we do.

At the end of the day, I've got books to write, work to finish, and cat memes to post. I can't let technological purism get in the way of life.