Mozilla Lets Users Re-Route Cortana Traffic With Windows 10-Oriented Firefox 40

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Firefox 40 will allow users to re-route Windows 10 Cortana traffic away from Bing and to a search engine of their choice, alongside security updates

Mozilla has released a new version of Firefox that sees the web browser draft in optimisations for Windows 10, including a new look for Microsoft’s latest operating system, as well as security enhancements.

“We’ve made thoughtful tweaks to the interface to give Firefox a streamlined feel,” said the non-profit organisation. “You’ll also notice bigger, bolder design elements as well as more space for viewing the Web. We had a lot of fun building this version of Firefox and we hope you’ll enjoy the new look.”

New look

Most notably, in a rather underhanded play, Firefox 40 includes the option to reroute traffic from Cortana away from Bing and through a search engine of the user’s choice.

firefox“Firefox also helps you preserve your choice when using the search field on the Windows 10 taskbar to search the Web,” added Mozilla.

“When using this search field, Windows 10 launches your default browser but only shows search results in Microsoft Bing. When you have Firefox set as your default browser on Windows 10, all your Web searches from the taskbar search field will show results in the default search engine you choose in Firefox.”

Mozilla also claims to have made version 40 safer for third party add-ons. The firm announced a process to officially certify add-ons from third party providers, ensuring they follow the guidelines suggested by Firefox developers.

Extensions that change the homepage and search settings without user consent have become very common, just like extensions that inject advertisements into Web pages or even inject malicious scripts into social media sites,” said Firefox. “To combat this, we created a set of add-on guidelines all add-on makers must follow, and we have been enforcing them via blocklisting (remote disabling of misbehaving extensions).”

Mozilla will also be issuing 14 security advisories with the Firefox 40 release. Four are tagged as critical, with one (labelled MFSA-2015-79) detailing memory safety hazards. Another critical advisory aims to fix a flaw in the libstagefright media library, which was also just patched by Google following an Android vulnerability flaw. You can find more information on Mozilla’s advisories here.

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