The software overrides the system’s default browser settings in Insider preview.
Microsoft has been caught foisting Windows 10’s Edge browser on 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, when users click any link within the Windows Mail app – which is the default email client that comes preinstalled on Windows 10 – it will automatically open in Microsoft Edge, regardless of whether or not it’s the system default.
Microsoft announced the change as part of a blog post, 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 community.”
This is not the first time that the company has engaged in aggressive promotional tactics in order to increase the adoption of its browser. When users enter ‘Chrome download’ or similar terms 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.
Microsoft has landed itself in hot water over its behaviour regarding Windows’ built-in browsers in the past – the European Commission started investigating Microsoft for anti-competitive practices almost a decade ago over concerns that bundling Internet Explorer with Windows was an abuse of the company’s monopoly over the PC industry.
Windows Insiders are already using Microsoft’s Feedback Hub to complain vociferously about the change, accusing Microsoft of limiting their freedom of choice and locking them into its own apps.