Microsoft Outlook and Teams to open links in Edge, ignoring default browser settings in Windows
The change does not affect Outlook users on MacBy Kishalaya Kundu 10 comments
In context: Microsoft Edge is an excellent browser by all accounts, and a much needed improvement over the garbage fire that was Internet Explorer. However, despite its innovative features and an extensive extension repository, many people detest the software due to Microsoft's overly aggressive marketing style that often makes it annoying for those who use Chrome, Firefox, Opera or other third-party apps as their default browser on Windows.
The company is now making another controversial move that is likely to irritate many Windows users. In a Microsoft 365 support page, the company announced that all browser links from Outlook and Teams will now open in Edge, disregarding the default browser setting in the PC. The change will only apply to Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices, meaning people using Mac will continue to have their Outlook links open in their default browser.
In Outlook in Windows, the email containing the link will also open in the Edge sidebar alongside the linked content. The company claims the move will offer a more seamless experience for users by eliminating the need to switch between the app and browser. Embedded links in Teams messages will also follow the same path and open in Microsoft Edge in the future, the company said.
The aforementioned behavior will be the default meaning once the change is implemented, the first time a user clicks on a link in Outlook, it will open in Microsoft Edge. Thankfully, Microsoft will subsequently allow users to turn off this 'feature' in Outlook settings. The company also said this change won't affect the default browser setting in Windows, as it will not impact links opened from other apps and services.
The change has annoyed many system admins and Microsoft 365 users, who are venting their frustrations on social media. Some are pointing out that the company also ignores the default browser setting while handling links from elsewhere in Windows 11, like the Start Menu search experience, which opens outgoing links in Edge irrespective of the default browser setting in the computer.
The current changes are yet another example of how Microsoft is failing to respect user choice. Windows 11 already has a cumbersome process of setting default programs, and the latest move means the company is yet again pushing its own apps and services to its users and ignoring their wishes. If these shenanigans continue, there's a good chance that Microsoft will end up alienating some Windows users and push them towards Mac or Linux.