Technology EU users will be allowed to uninstall Edge, Bing, and Disable Ads on Windows 11 under the EEA Digital Markets Act

nicolaasjan

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Thread author
May 29, 2023
130
Microsoft is working to ensure compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the European Economic Area (EEA). Coming soon, we will be releasing the November 2023 non-security preview update for Windows 11, version 23H2 to the Release Preview Channel that will preview 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. Once that update is live in the Release Preview Channel, we will update this blog post with those details. 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.

Windows operating system and apps​

Customers using Windows have always used a combination of operating system functionality as well as apps, but now Windows will clearly identify operating system functionality in places like Settings, Start, and Search:
  • Settings > System > System Components will show notable operating system components.
  • Start menu’s All Apps list has been renamed to All and operating system components are labeled with “system”.
  • Under Search, search results will show operating system components labeled with “system”.
System labeling under Start menu’s All list.
All apps in Windows can be uninstalled. Of course, apps can always be installed again from the Microsoft Store and internet. Settings > Apps > Installed apps continue to show all the apps installed on the PC and we’ve added the ability to uninstall:
  • Camera
  • Cortana
  • Web Search from Microsoft Bing, in the EEA
  • Microsoft Edge, in the EEA
  • Photos
 
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brambedkar59

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Apr 16, 2017
1,861
we’ve added the ability to uninstall:
Cortana
Web Search from Microsoft Bing, in the EEA
Not a big deal if you have already disabled them via GPedit. Still a positive news.

As noted above, some functionality is only available in the EEA. 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.
So, you would have to set the location as EU during install otherwise you won't be able to change it. Is that what it means?
 

Orchid

Level 1
Jan 27, 2023
43
@brambedkar59, To my knowledge from reading the article, yes. The change will only be for users who choose the EU region during installation. Too bad this decision is tailored for people who select the EU region specifically. Uninstalling Edge, Bing, and Microsoft/Windows apps on Windows 11 should be a non-region feature so everyone who uses Windows 11 can use it.

*Note: I don't know what happens to the operating systems when a different region besides the U.S. is selected. I reside in the U.S. and always choose the United States region.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 97327

Well, when you buy something, ownership is also transferred. With ownership you should also acquire the right to do whatever you want with it, as long as you comply with laws.

IT devices (I have a Samsung phone, but I am also unable to remove some Samsung software) started to forbid users to change stuff to prevent them breaking functionality (which is a legitemate reason).

Many IT devices stretch this ligit reason to make it harder for competition to obtain market share. From that perspective (open market), I think these EU regulations make sense.

The line gets blurred when economical power also is an aspect (e.g US vs China vs EU)
 
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TairikuOkami

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May 13, 2017
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Too bad this decision is tailored for people who select the EU region specifically
You can block Bing via HOSTS, DNS or a firewall.

capture_11172023_090419.jpg
 

nicolaasjan

Level 3
Thread author
May 29, 2023
130
You can remove Edge and Bing Search on Windows 11 even if you don't live in Europe - gHacks Tech News
Microsoft announced this week that users in the European Economic Area will soon be able to remove Bing and Edge from Windows 11. Users from all European Union countries as well as those from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein will also be able to disable some ads and gain a couple of other privileges.
These users may uninstall Edge or Bing Search just like any other installed application once the feature lands. What Microsoft did not reveal is that users from outside the EEA region may also gain the same privileges.
Microsoft warned in the announcement that the region selected during setup determines whether the privileges are enabled on a Windows 11 system. Users who change the region at a later stage won't be able to gain the benefits, according to Microsoft.
What Microsoft failed to reveal is that it is indeed possible to make changes in the Registry to unlock the privileges, at least in development editions. It is too early to tell if the modifications apply to stable versions of Windows 11 as well. The first stable version is expected in the first half of 2024 and tests will show then if the Registry tweaks work for these versions as well.
Twitter user Albacore published instructions on changing the region and gaining the privileges. The instructions are not overly complicated, but they do require editing the Registry. It is recommended to create a backup of the system or at least from the Registry before making the modifications.
Note: modifying the region may impact some functionality of the operating system. Do not make these modifications on stable versions of Windows at this time. Also, users from the EEA do not need to make these modifications.
 

nicolaasjan

Level 3
Thread author
May 29, 2023
130
The ability to make these changes are saved in a single file. :)

From:
Microsoft Edge schon jetzt deinstallieren, Websuche abschalten und wenn man möchte Copilot aktivieren - Deskmodder.de:
(translated)
These changes have already been integrated into Windows 10 with KB5032278 and Windows 11 with KB5032288, but have largely not yet been activated.

The ability to make these changes are saved in a single file. This is called IntegratedServicesRegionPolicySet.json and is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. The individual functions are currently entered there as “enabled” or “disabled” and will probably be changed gradually by Microsoft.

I made the changes and you can easily uninstall Edge via Settings -> Apps -> Installed Apps (Windows 10 and 11). The settings to uninstall Bing search appear in the Windows 11 settings. The Copilot can be activated under Windows 10 and 11 so that the icon appears permanently in the taskbar. Without always making changes to the registry under Windows 10.
See also on gHacks.net:
This Windows file controls the uninstallation of Edge, Web Search and other features - gHacks Tech News.

Taking control
You are not the owner of the file by default. This is a problem, as you can't edit it because of that by default. Here is what you need to do to change that:
  1. Create a copy of the file IntegratedServicesRegionPolicySet.json and put it somewhere else.
  2. Right-click on the file in the System32 folder and select Properties.
  3. Switch to the Security tab and activate the Advanced button.
  4. Select Change next to the current listed owner, which is TrustedInstaller.
  5. Type Administrators into the filed on the page and then Check names. Windows should auto-correct the user group. Select OK.
  6. Make sure Administrators is the new owner of the file on the previous page. Click OK to exit this window.
  7. Select the Edit button now in the Properties window.
  8. Highlight Administrators and set Allow permissions to Full Control.
  9. Select OK to complete the process.
You may now load the file in an elevated text editor to edit it. The main options that you have are the following ones:
  • Change the state to enabled or disabled.
  • Add regions to the list of regions that support or disallow a feature.
 
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