Microsoft to Let European Users Uninstall Edge, Bing From Windows | Tech

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Microsoft will let users in the European Union uninstall the Edge browser from Windows.

The company is making the change to comply with the EU’s Digital Market Act, which was designed to ensure fair competition among the major tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, and Apple. The EU has designated these firms as “gatekeepers” due to their size and potential to suppress smaller players.

Microsoft says it’s preparing a preview release of Windows 11 for EU users that’ll let them uninstall Edge, which currently can’t be removed from the OS or Windows 10.

“All apps in Windows can be uninstalled,” the company added in the blog post. Along with Edge, the Bing-powered web search from the Windows search bar can also be disabled in Europe. In addition, EU users can also choose to remove Photos, Cortana, and Camera, three apps that Microsoft has also been starting to allow US users to remove.

The Windows 11 preview release is slated to arrive later this month. Redmond also plans on releasing a similar preview release for Windows 10 “at a later date.” The goal is to eventually roll out the uninstall options for EU users by March 6, 2024, to comply with the Digital Markets Act.

Other ways Microsoft is opening up the OS to comply with EU rules includes adding “interoperability” to the Windows Widget Board and web search on Windows Search. This means users will be able to run third-party software over either function.

An example of the interoperability (Credit: Microsoft)

The OS will also continue to prompt EU users about changing their default settings whenever content is opened through a newly installed app. But Redmond adds it’ll still nudge users to sync their Microsoft accounts with Windows.

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