Microsoft Edge is trying some sneaky tricks to become your default browser

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Microsoft)

A new push to make Microsoft Edge your default browser might leave some business users despairing.

The company has revealed that links from its Microsoft Teams and Outlook platforms will now open in Edge, even if users have chosen a different option as their default browser.

This could leave users waiting in frustration after clicking on a link from either the video conferencing or email platform, as a dormant Microsoft Edge heaves itself up from the depths of their ancient work-provided PC or laptop and fires up, leading to a huge slowdown in performance and drop-off in efficiency.

The change was spotted in new Microsoft support documentation by The Register, which looked to soften the blow for users by promising that utilizing Edge would be better for legacy Outlook apps.

Going forward, browser links from the Outlook app will open in the Microsoft Edge sidebar pane, which the company says is similar to having two tabs open side-by-side.

"Microsoft is always striving to improve and streamline our product experiences—offering a new way to use the classic Microsoft Outlook app on Windows and the Microsoft Edge web browser," the company wrote in its announcement.

"This allows you to easily access, read, and respond to the message using your matching authenticated profile. No more disruptive switching—just your email and the web content you need to reference, in a single, side-by-side view."

However, a Microsoft spokesperson did tell The Register that users will be able to choose between continuing to use Edge or opening future launches inside their default browser.

The announcement also notes that a similar change will also be coming to Microsoft Teams soon, noting, "In the future, links from your Microsoft Teams messages will also open in Microsoft Edge by default to help you stay engaged in conversations as you browse the web." 

The same company spokesperson told The Register the change would, "...create an easier way for Outlook and Microsoft Teams users to reduce task switching across windows and tabs to help stay focused."

The latest Statcounter figures show that Microsoft's ongoing efforts to push users towards Edge may not be having the desired effect. Its most recent report found that Edge had lost its second place in the global browser market to Apple's Safari offering, which now claims 11.87% of users, compared to Edge's 11% - although both trail far behind runaway leader Google Chrome (66.13%).

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.