Microsoft will give Europeans the option to remove Edge and Bing from Windows
Microsoft is giving users of Windows 10 and Windows 11 living in the European Economic Area (EEA) greater control over their software. The company will soon be making it possible to extricate Microsoft Edge and Bing from the operating system.
This is not really by choice, however. Microsoft is introducing the changes in order to comply with the EEA's Digital Markets Act (DMA). The removal options will be rolling out to Windows 11 users in preview first followed by Windows 10. Microsoft says that both Windows 10 22H2 and Winodws 11 23H2 will be fully compliant by March next year.
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With the changes already introduced in the latest Release Preview build of Windows 11, Microsoft has used a blog post to Windows Insiders to announce the news.
The Windows Insider Program Team writes:
Microsoft is working to ensure compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the European Economic Area (EEA). We have released the November 2023 non-security preview update for Windows 11, version 23H2 to the Release Preview Channel (Build 22631.2787) that previews many of the changes we've made to Windows 11 to meet these obligations. These changes will gradually be rolling out to devices in Release Preview over the next couple weeks. We will be previewing changes for Windows 10 in the Release Preview Channel at a later date. We'll be updating Windows 10, version 22H2 and Windows 11, version 23H2 PCs in the EEA to be compliant by March 6th, 2024.
The company goes on to say that in addition to making Camera, Cortana and Photos removable for everyone worldwide, users in the EEA are gaining the ability to uninstall both Web Search from Microsoft Bing and Microsoft Edge.
Users in the EEA will also be given a choice about whether they want to sync their Microsoft account with Windows.
And if you are wondering how the company will determine where users are located, the post explains:
Windows uses the region chosen by the customer during device setup to identify if the PC is in the EEA. Once chosen in device setup, the region used for DMA compliance can only be changed by resetting the PC.