Microsoft considers forcing Windows 10 Mail users to use Edge

In a note to early testers for its Windows software for PCs, Microsoft says it's making the change to ensure security.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read

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Microsoft is testing an update for its Windows 10 software that powers PCs that changes the way it opens links from the email app. If you click a link, it won't open in Google's Chrome, Mozilla FireFox or some other browser you might have installed. Instead, in this version, it will only open in Edge, Microsoft's specialized browser built for speed and security, regardless of what browser you have installed on your desktop.

In a note to testers published on Microsoft's website Friday, the company seems to acknowledge it's a bit heavy-handed, and an unusual shift. But, the company believes it's worth doing anyway.

"We will begin testing a change where links clicked on within the Windows Mail app will open in Microsoft Edge , which provides the best, most secure and consistent experience on Windows 10 and across your devices," the company said in a note to "Windows Insider" testers. 

The move struck some people as odd, particularly because of Microsoft's colorful history with web browsers. Two decades ago, the company chose to offer its Internet Explorer web browser for free with Windows, effectively beating its rival Netscape. But it also attracted the attention of regulators, kicking off one of the most high-profile antitrust suits in the industry's history.

Industry watchers and users raised concerns about Microsoft repeating similar mistakes with this move, noting that the company has touted diversity of apps by different developers as a selling point.

A Microsoft representative declined to comment further beyond the announcement.

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