no more Firefox (at work)

I got a little surprise this morning, when I logged into my work PC and launched Firefox. The program still worked, but I got a popup from Windows telling me that access to the Mozilla update site was blocked.

Firefox has always been on our approved software list, so that surprised me. There hadn’t been an email about banning it, or anything like that. I checked the list, and it was still on there, so that got me wondering if the block was a mistake or something. I also considered that maybe they’d switched to a managed install, with updates pushed out from Software Center. But that didn’t seem to be the case either.

So I gave up and opened a support ticket to ask about it. (I’m always hesitant to do that for stuff like this, because I get paranoid that maybe I was never supposed to be using Firefox, and asking about it is going get me sent before the Spanish Inquisition or something.) I got a response back that, yep, InfoSec had decided to block Firefox. So, oh well, I had to switch to Edge today.

Edge actually isn’t that bad. And it has one advantage over Firefox (at least in our org). We’ve always blocked syncing Firefox user profiles, so I can’t easily keep my bookmarks or preferences in sync between my laptop and desktop with Firefox. But we do allow sync in Edge. So that’ll be nice.

The thing I’ll miss most about Firefox (and the main reason why I’ve stuck with it at work) is the Multi-Account Containers add-on. I have to juggle a bunch of different Microsoft accounts, and it’s nice to be able to have a container for the oddball ones, so they don’t confuse things for my everyday work under my normal AAD account. In Edge, I guess I’ll have to just use private windows for that, which kind of sucks, since I’ll then have to log in every single time. But I can deal with that.

I managed to import my Firefox bookmarks into Edge, then spent a bunch of time cleaning them up and organizing them. All said, I probably spent about two hours today figuring out why I couldn’t use Firefox, switching to Edge, cleaning up bookmarks, logging in to sites, poking around in preferences, and so on.

As part of this switch, I’m also going to try to switch from DuckDuckGo to Bing. Microsoft really wants you to use Bing, and there are some advantages to it, so I’m going to give it a try.

We’re also planning a mass Windows 11 upgrade at work. I’m not sure how they’re going to do that, but I’m a little worried about it. If I have to upgrade both my desktop and laptop, that could take a bit of time and involve a bit of risk. I guess that maybe I’m better off there than a lot of people, since i have two machines, and I can keep using one while the other is getting upgraded. (Most people now only have a laptop.)

Oh well, I guess it’s time to embrace the all-Microsoft future, and get used to Windows 11, Edge, Bing, and whatever else they throw at us.

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