Microsoft is discontinuing its requirement for Windows 11 users in the European Economic Area (EEA) to use Microsoft Edge for accessing widgets and searching results.

The tech giant has begun testing changes to Windows 11 in recent test builds, which will be limited to countries within Europe.

“In the European Economic Area (EEA), Windows system components use the default browser to open links,” reads a change note from a Windows 11 test build released to Dev Channel testers.

According to The Verge, Microsoft has been neglecting default browser choices in Windows 10 search and the taskbar widget that forces users into Edge instead of their default browser when clicking links.

This trend was continued in Windows 11, with search still forcing users into Edge and a new dedicated widgets area that also ignored the default browser setting.

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Now, both search and Windows Widgets will soon use the default browser for opening links in EU countries as they are system-level components in Windows 11.

Previously, third-party apps like EdgeDeflector could be used to open Start menu search results in the default browser.

The tech giant shut this workaround down nearly two years ago, the report said.

Meanwhile, Microsoft and Apple are reportedly pushing to keep Bing and iMessage off the list of designated “gatekeepers” as part of the EU’s new Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Once the EU designates its gatekeepers, they will have six months, or until March 2024, to comply with the DMA’s rules.

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According to The Financial Times, Microsoft and Apple are “privately (and separately) arguing that their services aren’t large or powerful enough to justify earning the restrictions of the Digital Markets Act”.

Microsoft is “unlikely” to dispute that its Windows platform meets the definition of a gatekeeper.