Some European Windows users will be able to uninstall Edge, Bing, Cortana and other programs
November 21, 2023

Some European Windows users will be able to uninstall Edge, Bing, Cortana and other programs

Windows users in one part of Europe, namely countries belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA/EEA), will soon get a user experience and freedom from Microsoft that others can only dream of. Namely, in order to comply with the EU law Digital Markets Act (DMA), this giant has to expand the functions of the operating systems Windows 10 and 11, and some of them are the ability to uninstall the Edge browser and Bing web search.

The announced changes were described in detail by the Windows Insider Programs team on their blog post, and some of them were requested by users around the world on several occasions. Now a group of fans of this operating system will be privileged in this thanks to the pressure imposed by the laws in the EU.

What do privileged Windows users get?

This seems like a real small victory for users over the big tech companies, as Microsoft is known for trying to force people to continue using Edge and Bing services in various ways. This includes setting these products as default over, for example, Chrome and other competing products, but also showing pop-ups while using Windows 10 and 11.

However, those European Windows users affected by the changes will also be able to uninstall apps such as Camera, Cortana and Photos.

Another significant change is the introduction of more compatibility options, which will give users the freedom to choose between their favorite providers in more places, the announcement says. The company lists two news in particular: Feeds in Windows Widgets Board and web search in Windows Search.

When searching for apps or accessing the list of all apps from the Start menu, Microsoft will now display the label “System” next to system apps to make it easier to identify system apps. The “All Apps” option will just be renamed to simply “All”.

The company added that Windows will remember default settings configured by clients for links and file types, including standard browser links (http, https) in the EEA. However, applications choose how they open content on the Windows OS, and some Microsoft applications will choose to open web content through Microsoft Edge.

Many of these DMA-compliant changes are already available with the updated Windows 11 version 23H2 in the Release Preview channel. The changes are also coming to Windows 10, but the specific date is still not announced.

The full changes should be available by March 6, 2024, to be ready for when the DMA comes into effect. The countries to which the changes in Europe will surely reach are: members of the European Union, but also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. At the moment, it is not clear whether the changes will also be reflected in the countries that have committed themselves to harmonization with the legislation of the European Union, including Serbia.