Mi­crosoft forces Edge on Win­dows Mail users

Web User - - Need To Know -

What hap­pened?

Mi­crosoft has been caught foist­ing its Edge browser on Win­dows 10 users, even if they have another op­tion set as their de­fault browser.

As part of a new fea­ture in the lat­est Win­dows 10 In­sider Pre­view build for users in the Skip Ahead ring, any link clicked within the Win­dows Mail app – which is the de­fault email client that comes pre­in­stalled in Win­dows 10 – will au­to­mat­i­cally open in Mi­crosoft Edge, re­gard­less of whether or not it’s the sys­tem de­fault.

Mi­crosoft an­nounced the change in a blog post ( bit.ly/edge446), claim­ing that Edge “pro­vides the best, most se­cure and con­sis­tent ex­pe­ri­ence on Win­dows 10 and across your de­vices,” adding: “As al­ways, we look for­ward to feed­back from our WIP (Win­dows In­sider Pro­gramme) com­mu­nity”.

This is not the first time that the com­pany has en­gaged in ag­gres­sive pro­mo­tional tac­tics to in­crease the adop­tion of its browser. When users type the term ‘Chrome down­load’ or sim­i­lar into Edge’s search bar (which uses Bing as the de­fault search en­gine), they are greeted with a large ban­ner at the top of their search re­sults ex­tolling the virtues of Edge and re­mind­ing them that it’s al­ready in­stalled on their PC.

Users try­ing to switch their PC’S de­fault browser from Edge to an al­ter­na­tive via the set­tings menu are greeted with a sim­i­lar mes­sage.

How will it af­fect you?

Win­dows In­sid­ers are al­ready us­ing Mi­crosoft’s Feed­back Hub to com­plain vo­cif­er­ously about the change, ac­cus­ing the com­pany of lim­it­ing their free­dom of choice and lock­ing them into its own apps. Hope­fully, this means that by the time the of­fend­ing up­date is re­leased to the pub­lic, Mi­crosoft will have lis­tened to the neg­a­tive feed­back and dropped this un­wel­come and un­rea­son­able re­stric­tion, al­low­ing users to open emails in their pre­ferred browser.

That said, Win­dows Mail is re­ported to have less than a 1% share of the email-client mar­ket, so it’s pos­si­ble you won’t no­tice the change even if it is en­forced.

What do we think?

Not again, Mi­crosoft! We still re­mem­ber the hot wa­ter the com­pany got into al­most a decade ago for forc­ing Win­dows users to browse with In­ter­net Ex­plorer. That led to Mi­crosoft be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for anti-com­pet­i­tive prac­tices and abus­ing its mo­nop­oly over the PC in­dus­try, but it seems that the com­pany hasn’t learned its les­son.

Although this ex­am­ple of ag­gres­sive pro­mo­tion isn’t as se­ri­ous, Mi­crosoft should ac­knowl­edge that not ev­ery­body wants to use Edge as their de­fault browser, and give users a choice rather than mak­ing it for them.

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