A test feature would oblige users to open Edge in some situations, regardless of whether it’s set as default
Microsoft has begun testing a feature that would effectively force users to open the Windows Edge browser in some situations.
The feature would open Edge when users click on a link in the Windows Mail application, regardless of which browser users have set as default, Microsoft said.
Microsoft justified the move by saying that Edge is “the best” browser on Windows 10.
The feature is being tested in a build of Windows 10 that’s only available to beta-testers who opted into an advance preview programme. As such, it may not be retained in a final Windows 10 release.
If it is, it wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft has made such a change. In April 2016 the company altered the Cortana voice assistant so that searches performed through Cortana would only open in Edge.
At the time, Microsoft said the move was designed to ensure the “integrity” of Cortana, which was designed with search results from Microsoft’s Bing search engine in mind. Some users had “unfortunately” been getting around that by designing browser add-ons for third-party browsers that would allow Cortana to trigger search engines other than Bing, Microsoft said.
Edge was introduced as the default browser with Windows 10 in July 2015, but so far Microsoft has had little luck persuading users to switch from Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox or even its own obsolete Internet Explorer.
Edge is used on 4 percent of desktop computers, behind Internet Explorer’s 6.9 percent, according to StatCounter. Chrome leads with 67.5 percent, followed by Firefox with 11.5 percent.
The small market share contrasts with Windows 10’s relatively strong uptake, having made it onto 36 percent of desktops.
Versions of Edge for iOS and Android are also available.
Microsoft said it’s seeking feedback on the feature change.
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