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EU finally frees Windows users from Bing

An anonymous reader cites The Verge’s report. Microsoft will soon disable Bing web search, remove Microsoft Edge, and even add custom web search providers (including Google, if you’re willing to build one) to Windows 11 users in the European Economic Area (EEA). We plan to make it possible to add it to the Search interface. All of these Windows 11 changes are part of the important adjustments Microsoft must make to its operating system to comply with the European Commission’s Digital Markets Act, which comes into effect in March 2024. Microsoft has a lot of interoperability and competition to deal with. This rule states that a web browser that allows users to “easily uninstall preinstalled apps, direct users to operating system, virtual assistant, or gatekeeper products or services, and provides a selection screen for key services. This includes allowing users to change default settings.

Along with clearly marking which apps are system components in Windows 11, Microsoft is responding by adding the ability to uninstall the following apps: Camera, Cortana, and Web Search from Microsoft Bing in the EEA. , Microsoft Edge in the EEA, and Photos. Only Windows 11 users in the EEA can permanently remove web searches powered by Microsoft Edge and Bing from Windows Search. Microsoft could easily extend this to all Windows 11 users, but is limiting this addition to his EEA markets to comply with the rules.

In the EEA market (which includes EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), Windows 11 users will also have access to new interoperability features for Windows Widget Board feeds and web search in Windows Search . This allows search providers such as Google to extend the main Windows Search interface with their own custom web searches. Microsoft allows EEA machines to remove Bing results, so Google could serve up its own search results here, effectively becoming the default if a user uninstalls Bing. “If a user has multiple search providers installed, the last search provider they used will be displayed when they open Windows Search,” said Aaron Grady, a Windows Partner and Manager of his Group Products. explains in his statement to The Verge.

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