When you run the Windows 8 operating system for the first time, regardless of having installed it by yourself or found it pre-installed on a PC that you have purchased, you will notice that it is not really that easy to tell where links are opened in. The main reason for this is that the system ships with two browsers, one for the Metro interface, and another one for the desktop. Both Internet Explorer 10 versions can open links, and depending on which version of the browser you have launched, or where you are in when links are launched or clicked on, one of the two browsers may be used by the operating system to display those links.
Things get even more complicated once you install another browser on the system. If you install Google Chrome and make it the default browser, Windows will ask you whether you want to keep opening links in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or in Google Chrome. This effectively raises the number of available browsers to four. If you now install Firefox which will also ship with a Metro version, you end up with six browsers and so on.
You can generally say that links that you open on the desktop will be opened in the default desktop browser, and that links in Metro will be opened in the Metro browser.
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has a setting to change that default behavior. Google Chrome currently does not seem to give you the option to set one browser as the default for all links, but this may change in future releases.
You can configure IE10 to always open links and tiles on the desktop, or in the Metro version of the browser. Here is how you configure that:
Here you have two options to define how links are opened in the operating system:
If you ask me, there is not really a need for a Metro browser on the desktop. I can see that it may have its uses on mobile devices though. What’s your take on the two-browser system?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.