Microsoft Outlook and Teams users may soon be forced to open all their links with Microsoft Edge, in the latest sign that Microsoft won't rest until everyone is using its own web browser.
The change applies to two specific Microsoft applications: All web links from Azure Active Directory accounts and from Microsoft accounts will now open in Edge. According to one message for EU users, the change is coming to Teams as well “in the future,” though the specific timeline hasn't been made public.
The default browser setting in Windows is still whatever you'd like to set it, but making Edge the only option in Teams is already ruffling feathers in the tech community.
What's Changing and When
The news comes from a Microsoft 360 update recently announced by the service's admin center in a message to IT admins, which was then screencapped and shared on Reddit, after which The Verge covered it.
The message, which is for an EU tenant, mentions which changes are rolling out first:
“Web links from Azure Active Directory (AAD) accounts and Microsoft (MSA) accounts in the Outlook for Windows app will open in Microsoft Edge in a single view showing the opened link side-by-side with the email it came from.”
Since the links will be opening in a view that also includes the original email, Edge will be “embedded” within the application. Microsoft is positioning the change as a way to keep users productive. But the fact that links will be opening in Edge is the real issue for some users.
“In the future, a similar experience will arrive in Teams, with web links from chats opening side-by-side with those chats in Microsoft Edge.”
On the Reddit thread, one user from Canada has confirmed that similar changes are being made to the Outlook for Windows app in the country, although Canada's message merely gives a noncommital statement in regards to Teams, saying “Teams will not receive the change at this time.”
Users Respond: Change is “Weird and Obnoxious”
Should the update go live for Teams, any users with a regular browser like Chrome or Firefox will be forced to open Edge whenever they follow up on links posted in the Teams chat. That's a move that reduces any efficiency that their main brower's plugins might have to offer.
Or to hear it from the users discussing the change on Reddit, it's “weird and obnoxious,” and “it is annoying that Microsoft doesn't give the users full choice on what to do.” One user says they “can kind of see what they're trying to accomplish, but… no.”
Even the fans are not happy, with one saying “Microsoft, I like Edge, for both Windows and Mac, but you are going about this the wrong way.”
Is Microsoft Teams Living Life on the Edge?
There's plenty of time for Microsoft to chose not to roll out this particular change, or at least to offer more browser compatibility. After all, it has been announced in the EU and Canada, but does not seem to have rolled out in the US yet.
Still, it's a potential user-unfriendly move from the platform. Teams has earned plenty of praise from us in recent years, with constant updates that usually go over a little better with IT admins than this one.
We've tested and researched all the top web meeting applications for business use, and Teams is among the best. Check out the other options or try out our list of Teams tips and tricks to learn more about how to wring the most productivity out of the tool.