Here’s some good news about the October 2018 Update: Microsoft has completely backed off on plans to force the Edge browser on Windows 10 Mail app users.
Back in March, Microsoft announced it was “testing” a change that would completely ignore your default web browser choice when clicking links in the Mail app. Any links clicked in Mail would always open in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft defended this choice by saying Edge “provides the best, most secure and consistent experience on Windows 10.” We think the most consistent experience is using the default web browser every other application on the system uses, even if that’s Chrome or Firefox.
“We look forward to feedback,” wrote Microsoft. Microsoft got that feedback in the form of complaints, and quietly backed off on this change without any public announcement.
We expected the Mail app to contain a buried “Open links in Microsoft Edge” option, which would be on by default. In other words, Mail would ignore your default browser unless you dug into the Reading pane options and told it not to. This was first reported by Italian blog Aggiornamenti Lumia back in July.
Thankfully, Microsoft appears to have completely backed off, even on that lesser change. We’ve tested the near-final builds of the October 2018 Update and found the latest Mail app always respects your choice of default web browser. There’s no “Open links in Microsoft Edge” option you need to disable first. It just works like it should.
But it’s not all good: Cortana still ignores your default web browser and pushes you to Microsoft Edge. Windows 10 is filled with ads that push Edge and other junk. And Microsoft still installs installs apps like Candy Crush on your PC without asking first.