Microsoft is falling into old habits as the company irritates customers with questionable ways of pushing its Edge web browser.
Microsoft has made a couple of changes in the last few days that have users up in arms, both of them aimed at pushing Edge over competing browsers. According to Neowin, Reddit users are reporting receiving emails from Microsoft saying that Outlook and Teams will start opening links in Edge, regardless of the user’s default browser settings.
Below is the message users are receiving:
How this will affect your organization:
Web links from emails in the Outlook for Windows app will open side-by-side with the email in Microsoft Edge so users can easily reference the link and email without switching back and forth between apps. The email will open in the Outlook app in the Edge sidebar. Links will open in Microsoft Edge even if it is not the system default browser in Windows.
- Only links set to open via a web browser are affected. Links that are set to open in a client app or within Outlook itself will continue to do so.
- User experiences will vary by policy configuration; please see the next section.
- Web links from all accounts in the Outlook for Windows app will open in Microsoft Edge, but the side-by-side experience is not available for non-AAD or non-MSA accounts at this time.
Teams will not receive the change at this time.
Microsoft’s actions come on the heels of an update that broke the ability to easily set Chrome as the default browser. According to Gizmodo, Chrome includes a button that lets users set it as the default browser with a single click. A recent Windows update broke that ability, making it more difficult for individuals to set their preference.
The issue was even worse for enterprise users, with the Windows default settings popping open every time a user opened Chrome.
“Every time I open Chrome the default app settings of Windows will open. I’ve tried many ways to resolve this without luck,” an IT administrator posted on Microsoft’s forum.
These latest antics come less than two months after Microsoft promised a “principled approach” to letting users set their preferred apps.
“Today we’re reaffirming our long-standing approach to put people in control of their Windows PC experience and to empower developers to take advantage of our open platform,” the company wrote at the time.
“We want to ensure that people are in control of what gets pinned to their Desktop, their Start menu and their Taskbar as well as to be able to control their default applications such as their default browser through consistent, clear and trustworthy Windows provided system dialogs and settings.”
In view of these recent changes, it seems Microsoft is taking a “principled approach,” as long as those principles align with using Microsoft’s software first, foremost, and only. It’s truly disappointing to see the company return to the monopolistic and anti-competitive behavior that landed it in court in 2001 and benefited no one, including its own users.