We are calling on Microsoft to “undo” its aggressive move to override user choice on Windows 10
Mozilla exists to bring choice, control and opportunity to everyone on the Web. We build Firefox and our other products for this reason. We build Mozilla as a non-profit organization for this reason. And we work to make the Internet experience beyond our products represent these values as much as we can.
Sometimes we see great progress, where consumer products respect individuals and their choices. However, with the launch of Windows 10 we are deeply disappointed to see Microsoft take such a dramatic step backwards. It is bewildering to see, after almost 15 years of progress bolstered by significant government intervention, that with Windows 10 user choice has now been all but removed. The upgrade process now appears to be purposefully designed to throw away the choices its customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and replace it with the Internet experience Microsoft wants them to have.
On the user choice benchmark, Microsoft’s Windows 10 falls woefully short, even when compared to its own past versions. While it is technically possible for people to preserve their previous settings and defaults, the design of the new Windows 10 upgrade experience and user interface does not make this obvious nor easy. We are deeply passionate about our mission to ensure people are front, center and squarely in the driver’s seat of their online experience, so when we first encountered development builds of Windows 10 that appeared would override millions of individual decisions people have made about their experience, we were compelled to immediately reach out to Microsoft to address this. And so we did. Unfortunately this didn’t result in any meaningful change.
Today we are sending an open letter to Microsoft’s CEO to again insist that Windows 10 make it easy, obvious and intuitive for people to maintain the choices they have already made — and make it easier for people to assert new choices and preferences.
I am writing to you about a very disturbing aspect of Windows 10. Specifically, that the update experience appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and replace it with the Internet experience Microsoft wants them to have.
When we first saw the Windows 10 upgrade experience that strips users of their choice by effectively overriding existing user preferences for the Web browser and other apps, we reached out to your team to discuss this issue. Unfortunately, it didn’t result in any meaningful progress, hence this letter.
We appreciate that it’s still technically possible to preserve people’s previous settings and defaults, but the design of the whole upgrade experience and the default settings APIs have been changed to make this less obvious and more difficult. It now takes more than twice the number of mouse clicks, scrolling through content and some technical sophistication for people to reassert the choices they had previously made in earlier versions of Windows. It’s confusing, hard to navigate and easy to get lost.
Mozilla exists to bring choice, control and opportunity to everyone. We build Firefox and our other products for this reason. We build Mozilla as a non-profit organization for this reason. And we work to make the Internet experience beyond our products represent these values as much as we can.
Sometimes we see great progress, where consumer products respect individuals and their choices. However, with the launch of Windows 10 we are deeply disappointed to see Microsoft take such a dramatic step backwards.
These changes aren’t unsettling to us because we’re the organization that makes Firefox. They are unsettling because there are millions of users who love Windows and who are having their choices ignored, and because of the increased complexity put into everyone’s way if and when they choose to make a choice different than what Microsoft prefers.
We strongly urge you to reconsider your business tactic here and again respect people’s right to choice and control of their online experience by making it easier, more obvious and intuitive for people to maintain the choices they have already made through the upgrade experience. It should be easier for people to assert new choices and preferences, not just for other Microsoft products, through the default settings APIs and user interfaces.
Please give your users the choice and control they deserve in Windows 10.
Blog Post: Safeguarding Choice and Control Online
Today, Mozilla proudly celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Mozilla Developer Network, one of the richest and also one of the few multilingual resources on the Web for documentation. It started in February 2005, when a small team dedicated to the open Web took DevEdge (Netscape’s developer materials) and set out to create an open, free, community-built online resource for all Web developers. Just a couple of months later, on 23 July, 2005 the original MDN wiki site launched and has evolved steadily ever since for the convenience and the benefit of its users.
For a wide range of Web developers, from learners to hobbyists to full-time professionals, MDN provides useful explanations for coding practice. It aims to inspire ideas, encourage collaboration, innovation and ultimately, foster the growth of the open Web. Moreover, as the digital industry flourishes and the demand for coding skills at young age rises, the importance of well-organized resources like MDN grows exponentially. That is why in 2014 MDN started to feed and expand all its learning pages into a “Learn the Web” area for beginning web developers, including a web terminology glossary, which MDN’s technical writers and volunteers will continue to develop over the next years.
All these efforts, which would not be possible without the active MDN volunteer base, are being greatly acknowledged by developers from all over the world who would not be doing what they do without MDN – or at least not as good.
Let’s hear it for MDN!
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