Firefox is coming to the Microsoft Store

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Mozilla Firefox is now easier to add to Windows. As of Tuesday morning, it’s been available as a one-click install in Microsoft’s app stores for Windows 10 and 11.

This makes it “the first major browser to be available in the Windows Store for Windows 10 and Windows 11 users,” Mozilla says. (Microsoft’s own Edge browser is built into the operating system.)

In the bad old days of Monday, getting Firefox required you to “download it from the Internet and go through a clunky process,” Mozilla says, which may exaggerate the relative difficulty since so many Windows applications still require the multi-download process. clicks. an installer, and then run it locally.

(The Windows 11 Microsoft Store supports a wider range of apps and no longer requires developers to share their revenue with Microsoft, but most Windows 10 users don’t have access to it.)

Google’s Chrome continues to demand the download and installation routine, but dominates the browser market anyway, accounting for 60.92% of the desktop browser market in the United States, per Statcounter. Apple’s Safari comes in second with 17.31%, Microsoft’s Edge remains third with 12.16% despite being preinstalled with Windows, and Firefox comes in fourth with 6.02%.

On Windows, as Mozilla notes, Firefox optimized for privacy stands out by not relying on the Blink rendering engine that Google developed for Chrome based on Apple’s Webkit engine, and which now also powers Microsoft’s Edge. as well as alternatives such as Brave. Under Microsoft’s old App Store rules, this left it ineligible for distribution through this streamlined no-rewrite storefront to remove the Gecko engine from Firefox.

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Microsoft providing this boost to Firefox represents a remarkable turn of events, given the difficulty with which it worked in the late 1990s to put Netscape and other rivals in the sand of its Internet Explorer browser. As US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson wrote in his findings of fact published in late 1999 in Microsoft’s antitrust lawsuit: To restrict Netscape’s access to the distribution channels that led the most effectively in the use of the browser.

Microsoft has now given Firefox a place in its most convenient distribution channel – and the browser that ended Internet Explorer’s dominance over Windows before suffering years of neglect and decline could use that aid.

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