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Vivaldi CEO calls tactics pushing Microsoft Edge 'desperate,' 'anti-competitive,' and 'familiar'

Vivaldi Tab Stacking
Vivaldi Tab Stacking (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The co-founder and CEO of Vivaldi recently shared a critical piece addressing Microsoft's efforts to get people to use the Edge browser.
  • The piece calls Microsoft's tactics "anti-competitive," "desperate," and "familiar."
  • Microsoft has come under fire recently for trying to convince people to use Edge.

Critics have complained about Microsoft's efforts to get people to use the Edge browser. A new set of prompts recently appeared when PC users searched for Google's browser through Edge. Windows 11 also makes it more difficult to change the default browser than previous versions of Windows. The latest set of criticisms comes from Jon von Tetzchner, the co-founder and CEO of Vivaldi. Tetzchner calls Microsoft's tactics anti-competitive, desperate, and familiar in a recent blog post.

"Microsoft's moves seem desperate. And familiar. It is clear they don't want you to use other browsers," said Tetzchner. "They even offer to pay you to use the browser via their Microsoft Rewards program. This is not the behavior of a confident company developing a superior browser. It's the behavior of a company openly abusing its powerful position to push people to use its inferior product, simply because it can. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Can you say monopoly?"

Tetzchner also claims that Microsoft is afraid to compete on a level playing field. The CEO calls back to Microsoft's previous efforts to defeat Netscape navigator in the early days of consumer-focused web browsers.

It's worth noting that Tetzchner is the CEO of a company that makes a browser that competes with Edge. "Naturally we encourage you to choose Vivaldi, because we think it offers you the best options for privacy, productivity and customization. But, unlike Microsoft, we firmly believe that the choice should be yours," said Tetzchner at the end of his post.

Microsoft has also forced people to use Edge when clicking certain elements within Windows, such as the widgets panel. This move has also drawn criticism. Some apps and browsers had implemented ways around this, but the workaround required is no longer functional.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

24 Comments
  • Edge commands less than 5% of the market share as of last month. In line with every other browser except for Google's Chrome, and that has over 64% of the market share.
    I don't think anti-competitive is a thing anyone needs to worry about right now with Edge and Microsoft.
  • I believe the CEO is claiming that Microsoft is using the market dominance of Windows to push Microsoft Edge, not that the company is using a high market share of Edge to perpetuate the popularity of the browser unfairly.
  • It's a cross platform browser based on Chromium... Every single modern OS comes with a default browser. EVERY SINGLE ONE. It's not 1995 anymore Vivaldi
  • It's not about Edge simply being bundled, you know that.
  • It's about going to any Google service with another browser that isn't Chrome and being told to use Chrome instead?
  • Except there is an OS level restriction where you can use only Edge with no option to change it and even actively patch workarounds that were working fine. Well we could use same argument with iOS for example, and people do repeatedly asking to allow 3rd-party browsers as defaults on that platform. Not everybody accepted it. Though Windows at least were way better when it comes to allowing 3rd party browsers. It is still annoying that when you click somewhere in Windows, it will open Edge regardless of default set, which conflicts to user's expected preference behaviour.
  • You mean like ChromeOS. And Apple requires all browsers to be webkit (a Apple tech) so any browser on iOS is a skin over webkit. I do believe MS is being douchie with Edge but I am not sure if crosses over to anti-competitiveness.
  • What in the world is Vivaldi?
  • Second best browser after Edge. Would be best, but lack touchscreen support.
  • Like every other OS doesn't push their own stuff on you too....
  • Just like the saying goes "two wrongs make a right."
  • The issue isn't the bundling of a Web browser to an OS. It is the behaviour of pushing it, especially when it doesn't even respect expected behaviour.
  • The "anti-competitive" bit I get. The "desperate" bit sounds like projection.
  • This Vivaldi CEO is a fool. Try using Google Maps or Gmail in Edge and you get prompted EVERY time to switch to Chrome. I think you can make a claim of desperation if Microsoft named Edge "Chrone" and had a logo that looks very similar to Chrome. And then to top it off, made the interface the same as Chrome.
  • Exactly. It’s business. We aren’t all
    Out here hammering on code for free. People gotta eat.
  • They have a chromium based browser. Extra features. Rewards are differentiators. If anyone sounds desperate- it’s this Vivaldi CEO who just comes off as whiny.
  • “Can you say monopoly”? Yes, I can say it. The question is, do YOU know what “monopoly” means? Clearly, you do not. Microsoft is NOT a “monopoly” in ANYTHING these days. Not desktop PCs (down to 74% worldwide, 60% in the U.S.). Not in browsers (4% worldwide, 6% U.S.). Not even a player in tablets or phones. So, where exactly is this alleged “monopoly”?
  • Choice between Edge internet security privacy and others browsers tracking peoples in commercial activities for use datas.
  • One of the least intelligent statements I've ever seen: "They even offer to pay you to use the browser via their Microsoft Rewards program. This is not the behavior of a confident company developing a superior browser. It's the behavior of a company openly abusing its powerful position to push people to use its inferior product, simply because it can." So paying people to use the browser is abusing its powerful position? Is there anything that's less abusive than paying users to use your product? Vivaldi would prefer that companies are not allowed to market their products in a way that benefits users? Widgets are a program built into Win 11. It's not remotely controlling for MS to build this app so that it uses Edge for its display. It would be different if MS made it so that HTML links elsewhere in the OS forcibly used Edge. But Widgets using it to display their content? No foul in that at all.
  • It's no worse than YouTube telling me switch to chrome every visit and not allowing me to disable that note.
  • I don't know when someone is seriously going to get on Apple's case for only allowing address links to open in Apple Maps and not a user configured mapping application. Apple only recently allowed URL links to open in a browser other than Safari. Apple really is the worst offender in this game.
  • That was my thought as well.
    Apple locks things down: ehh that's Apple being Apple.
    Microsoft encourages the use of it's tools (like everyone else): where's my pitchfork and torch.
  • Opera tried this BS years ago and it resulted in the Browser Choice window and the average user just continued to use IE anyway. The only desperate move here is on the part of Vivaldi.
  • I don't have issues with Edge. I have a world of issues for crappy Windows 11.