Skip to main content

Microsoft Edge features help give you the most out of Microsoft 365 to reduce the pain of context switching

Written By published October 28, 2021

Work smarter, not harder. We’ve all heard it. But with today’s world of more freedom—in how we work, when we work, and how we communicate while working—this statement is nothing short of a guiding ethos.

It is a direct response to a new challenge that workers face daily: frequent context switching. Our research indicates that in addition to managing schedules, workers juggle roughly three projects a day—and switch between them two to three times on average. Couple that with a torrent of emails, pings, and calls (which, combined, can easily number in the triple digits) and they’re constantly switching contexts throughout their day. No wonder they want to “work smarter”.

Enterprise New Tab Page. Actual feature experience may vary.
Enterprise New Tab Page. Actual feature experience may vary.

One way to help your workers “work smarter” is to make context switching simpler and more intuitive across the apps they rely on daily, such as communications apps and the browser. Enter Microsoft Edge and its latest features.

Millions globally already rely on Microsoft 365 productivity apps—like Outlook and Microsoft Teams—and Microsoft Edge as part of their daily workflow. Over the next six months, we’re making the experience between Microsoft Edge and Microsoft 365 more harmonious. With Microsoft Edge, your workers not only get a fast and secure modern browser, but they’ll also get experiences that connect with Microsoft 365 apps to help them work smarter, maintain context throughout the day, and get more out of their Microsoft 365 subscription.

Access what you need without roadblocks—Microsoft Edge seamlessly opens authenticated links using the correct profile

Context switching isn’t limited to moving between projects; switching between apps that require authentication can be jarring and can break concentration. The easier your users can move between apps, the easier it will be for them to maintain their context and stay focused.

To ease these app handoffs for your users, Microsoft Edge can open links with the same profile it recognizes in Outlook or Teams to provide a seamless authentication experience. It’s single sign-on but across Microsoft 365 apps and Microsoft Edge; it will even work if the user has multiple working profiles in the browser. Save your users from repeatedly—and excruciatingly—logging in every time they try to open an authenticated link from an email or chat; instead, let Microsoft Edge do the work.

Empower your workers with helpful context from Outlook and Teams in Microsoft Edge

Animation showing Shared Links view in the Edge history pane.
Shared Links view in History pane. Actual feature experience may vary.

Imagine, you get an email or Teams message with an important link but you’re working on something else. You intend to return to it but finding that link again proves… elusive. Sound familiar?

Today, finding a link buried in email or chat is more of an art than a science. But it doesn’t have to be. To help your users find links shared with them as they switch between contexts, we’ve put them right where links typically open: in the browser.

In Microsoft Edge, your users will be able to view links shared with them via Outlook and Teams (whether previously opened or unopened) on a new Shared Links view in the History dashboard, which reduces the friction of trying to unearth the mail or message where the link was originally shared. With filters to sort by app, who shared the link, and the date/time, your users will have precise tools to find the links they’re looking for instead of resorting to the too common “resend” plea.

What did I need to do again? Microsoft Edge helps to provide context on what to do next

Animation showing a "related conversation" flyout in Microsoft Edge
Actual feature experience may vary.

A common “work smarter” hack is to open a link now to come back to it later. But time and context switching often buries the original context, resulting in users staring at an open browser tab with only a whisper of what they were supposed to do in their heads. Context is everything and re-establishing it quickly and easily for users can save time and drive efficiency.

Microsoft Edge and the Microsoft 365 ecosystem make it easy for users to rediscover that context. When users are viewing a link that was shared via Outlook or Teams, Microsoft Edge will provide a useful flyout containing key information like who sent it, the app it was sent from, and a snippet of the message for context. Users can even navigate back to the original message from the flyout.

The best of Microsoft 365 in the Microsoft Edge browser

Enterprise New Tab Page in Microsoft Edge.
Enterprise New Tab Page. Actual feature experience may vary.

Having better, more connected experiences across apps is one way your users can “work smarter” throughout the day. But the benefits go past reducing the friction of context switching between apps—we’re also bringing the best of Microsoft 365 right into the Microsoft Edge browser.

Did you know Microsoft Edge already has a built-in Microsoft productivity dashboard? With the Office 365 tab on the New Tab Page—also known as the Enterprise New Tab Page—your users can stay on top of their days and be more productive. Cards along the top of the dashboard surface dynamic, relevant content such as Outlook events and frequented SharePoint sites, with new cards coming for To Do task lists and Outlook emails. The dashboard’s search bar also has Microsoft Search built-in, so your users can search with natural language queries to easily find Microsoft 365 documents, locate important Teams conversations, or find a colleague to connect with for a new project.

Plus, some Microsoft 365 features are coming natively to Microsoft Edge.

Editor, the writing assistance tool found in Microsoft 365 productivity apps, has already helped users feel confident when sending emails or sharing documents. We’re now integrating the Editor writing assistance tool natively within Microsoft Edge to simplify the writing process, right from your browser. Whether sending a quick message, sharing a review online, or posting to LinkedIn, your users can feel confident that their spelling and grammar are clear and concise wherever they write online.

Microsoft Edge, the best browser for Microsoft 365

With Microsoft Edge, not only does your organization get a browser designed to work with the Microsoft apps it uses daily, but it also gets the benefits of a high performing browser with enterprise-grade security features built-in. Security features like SmartScreen offer top-rated protection against phishing and malware, and performance features like Sleeping tabs help minimize the resource burden on devices when users have multiple tabs open while working.

The best part is that your users can get more out of Microsoft 365 in Microsoft Edge today! If you haven’t deployed Microsoft Edge yet, downloading and deploying the package is simple. Then, for the best experience, we recommend setting Microsoft Edge as the default browser in your organization and automatically signing your users into Microsoft Edge with their Azure AD profiles. That way they can easily check out the Office 365 tab and Microsoft Search right away, while also being ready for when the new Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Edge experiences land in the future.

Bottom line: when apps work well together, users have an easier time switching—or regaining—context throughout their workday. We’re committed to bringing the best of Microsoft 365 to Microsoft Edge to give your organization seamless experiences that boost productivity and save time. Thanks for joining us on this journey.

– Deb Dubrow, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Edge
– Sean Lyndersay, Partner Group Program Manager, Microsoft Edge