IT Admins Unhappy: Outlook, Teams Force Edge for Opening Links
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Sep 30, 2023 7:32 AM

IT Admins Unhappy: Outlook, Teams Force Edge for Opening Links

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IT Admins express dismay as Microsoft decides to override default web browser settings in Outlook and Teams.

There's quite a stir within the IT administration community. Microsoft is causing apprehension by deciding that both Teams and Outlook will open links in the Edge browser. Though Edge is decent, this decision undermines the choice of users who prefer alternatives such as Chrome or Firefox. The upset is evident as Microsoft moves away from respecting the user's default web browser.

Administrators on Reddit showcase messages from the Microsoft 365 admin center, indicating the strategy Microsoft will implement. The company plans to open links in Edge, maintaining a single view of the email and the opened link simultaneously, thus possibly creating a more focused working environment.

Despite this move not affecting the overall browser setting on Windows, it's still a major point of concern. Microsoft has seemingly taken matters into their own hands on several fronts, forcing users to use Edge through various functions on Windows.

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IT admins are raising objections on various forums including Reddit, as reported by Neowin. The situation is unsettling for admins since Microsoft intends to replicate this change in Teams as well. The company is rolling out this change gradually, serving a 30-day prior notice to administrators before integrating it into Outlook.

Organizations on a premium Microsoft 365 Enterprise subscription will have the power to modify this policy. However, smaller setups using Microsoft 365 for business will have to handle and adapt this change on individual devices, thereby potentially complicating things for less tech-savvy individuals and small-scale businesses.

Defending the update, Katy Asher, senior director of communications at Microsoft, stated that this strategy aims to minimize task switching for users. By opening links in Edge, users could view the original message and the web content simultaneously, thus easily accessing, reading, and responding to the message.

While it's not the first time Microsoft has tried such maneuvers, this approach is potentially risky. It challenges the user's freedom to choose default apps, provoking unfavorable reactions from the users and the industry alike. Microsoft's previous attempts to dictate user behavior, like trying to make Bing the default search engine through the Office 365 installer, were also not well-received.

The latest Windows 11 update has slightly improved the process of setting default apps, but the issue is still prevalent. The intention behind these actions seems to be encouraging users to adopt Microsoft's services.

However, the aggressive strategy being used, including pushing Bing and adding a crypto wallet into the browser, may backfire and alienate potential Edge users instead of attracting them.

Reflection on Microsoft's Strategy

While it's not unprecedented for firms to promote their own products within an ecosystem, the way Microsoft is enforcing Edge as the default browser raises some serious concerns about user freedom and choice. The user should have the final say in the default apps on their system. Stifling this choice can potentially backfire and create mistrust among users. It is crucial for companies like Microsoft to balance between promoting their own offerings and respecting the user's preferences.

Read the full article IT administrators are upset that Microsoft is making Outlook and Teams open links in Edge.

Microsoft Edge - IT Admins Unhappy: Outlook, Teams Force Edge for Opening Links

Learn about IT administrators are upset that Microsoft is making Outlook and Teams open links in Edge.

Browsing system enthusiasts are expressing frustration over reports that Microsoft intends to have applications such as Outlook and Teams ignore default internet browsers and utilize its own instead. This change is being perceived as yet another step towards eliminating user choice and promoting the use of Microsoft's own browser. Although the named Browser is proficient, there are concerns that Microsoft is excessively promoting its product over other options such as Chrome and Firefox.

A number of members from the tech community have taken to online platforms like Reddit to voice their worries over notifications sent from Microsoft 365's admin center. It appears that the announcement detailed impending modifications: web links from specific accounts in the Outlook for Windows application will open in the named Browser, with a single view displaying both the opened link and the originating email together. This change does not alter the default preference in Windows but does seem to ignore these preferences in certain instances.

Administrators in IT are displeased with the potential for change, many of them airing their grievances in various Reddit threads. Others voice concern that this function might extend to Teams too, causing web links from chats to open in Microsoft’s product. The rollout of this change appears to be gradual and IT admins have been given a 30-day notice before the actual implementation.

IT admins who manage Microsoft 365 Enterprise capabilities will have the opportunity to change this policy. However, for those managing Microsoft 365 on a business level, this would need to be addressed on individual machines. Smaller businesses, in particular, might find the transition bothersome, especially if they are not as tech-savvy.

For an official statement on the matter, we reached out to Microsoft. They mentioned that the arrangement was designed to make processes simpler for users and reduce the need to switch tasks across windows and tabs, thereby keeping the focus intact. This rationale is backed by the naming authenticated profile used across both Outlook or Teams. They also mentioned that it is possible to disable this feature if needed.

Interestingly enough, these notifications to IT admins come after Microsoft vowed to make major modifications to how Windows handles openings of certain links and files by default applications. At the time, Microsoft expressed a commitment to “ensure user choices are respected.” Ignoring default browsers and pressing people into using the Microsoft browser is arguably infringing on respecting user choice.

Despite concerns, Microsoft appears to remain interested in exploring possibilities to bypass default browser preferences. The aggressive efforts of Microsoft to steer users away from other browsers to its own are already apparent. Placing a considerable Bing button on its browser, adding “buy now, pay later” options, and planning to build a crypto wallet has drawn criticism. There has been a combination of determined push from Microsoft and reluctance to adapt among users which could potentially lose Microsoft the trust and support of its user base.

For a more detailed understanding of this topic, check the complete story at [Continue reading…](https://www.theverge.com/2023/5/3/23709297/microsoft-edge-force-outlook-teams-web-links-open)

Consider that despite this push in policy, the promoted browser does offer some advantages over others. Stay tuned as we explore this space further and bring you additional updates.

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