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Mozilla to focus on minimizing desertions to Edge with new Windows 10 Firefox

Gregg Keizer | July 21, 2015
Mozilla plans a campaign to stop or slow desertions from Firefox to Windows 10's new Edge browser because the OS's express setup changes previous defaults to Edge during an upgrade, according to published documents.

"The introduction of Edge also creates prospective acquisition opportunities. Upgrading to Windows 10 will create change/friction. We should leverage that moment to put Firefox top of mind," the firm added.

Edge, introduced in Windows 10, will be the default browser out of the box. In fact, according to Mozilla -- supported by a video that showed what happened when Windows 7 was upgraded to Windows 10's build 10162 of July 2 -- those who upgrade by selecting "Express Settings," as most do, will find Edge the default even if they had previously specified a competitor like Firefox or Google's Chrome.

Users who accept the express setting for Edge must later -- the first time they click on a link -- confirm Edge as the default. Few may refuse to do so since Microsoft's browser is at the top of the installed-browser list and uses the phrase "Keep using this app" for Edge but a generic "Other options" for rivals.

Microsoft's move could easily pose a major problem for Mozilla, which needs to hang onto every Firefox user it has: While Firefox's user share has stabilized around 12 percent of all browsers worldwide in 2015 -- ending June with 12.1 percent -- the browser's share is now about half what it was two years ago.

Mozilla plans to create several Web display advertisements to keep Firefox users in its fold, and also will produce a how-to for those who have adopted Windows 10 -- and thus Edge -- which shows them the steps necessary to revert to Firefox as the OS's default.

The bare-bones message Mozilla hopes to use to retain Firefox users will be, "Privacy, speed and choice from the browser the world trusts. Designed for Windows 10." According to the plan, Mozilla will stress that "Firefox is a great browser for Windows 10 users" rather than "sell[ing] ourselves as better than Edge."

 

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