Microsoft has announced adjustments to Windows 11 in compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) of the European Economic Area (EEA). Here are the key points:
All Windows applications can now be uninstalled, including Microsoft Edge, Web Search (Bing) in the EEA, Camera, Cortana, and Photos worldwide.
Apps in the Windows Start Menu will be labeled as system apps, with the word “system” attached to the name of some apps, such as File Explorer.
Additional APIs will be opened for other apps, including Feed in the Widgets Board and Web Search in Windows Search (limited to the EEA).
Windows will ask users if they want to sync their Microsoft Account data with Windows on their device (only in the EEA).
These features are currently being tested in Windows 11, version 23H2 (Release Preview) and will be added to Windows 10, version 22H2 in the future.
Users who purchase new PCs will need to set their region during initial setup. Choosing a country within the EEA will enable the above-mentioned features. Changing the region later will require resetting the entire PC.
Here is the appearance of the Web Search with opened APIs for competitors:
[Image of Web Search]
And here is the appearance of the Widgets with opened APIs for competitors:
[Image of Widgets]
TLDR: Microsoft is making adjustments to Windows 11 to comply with the Digital Markets Act of the European Economic Area. This includes allowing uninstallation of all Windows applications, labeling system apps in the Start Menu, opening additional APIs for third-party apps, and giving users the option to sync their Microsoft Account data. These changes will be tested in Windows 11 and later introduced to Windows 10. Purchasing a new PC within the EEA enables these features, while changing the region requires a PC reset.