We can sigh with relief and say “finally.” Google has made changes using HTML5 and Chrome users will, assuming they accept the prompt seen above, be able to open email links in Gmail directly.
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Prior to this, if you hit such a link you would have been redirected to your default email program in Windows. For many, though, Gmail IS their default email “program,” just through a browser. Now, if you accept the prompt above, it will open to Gmail.
Some news sites had already conceded the need for this, with a separate “share in Gmail” link on their pages.
Interestingly enough, Mozilla already had such a procedure built into their Firefox browser, and you can do the same in IE, but only through the use of the Google Toolbar.
Google says you’ll get the above prompt the next time you visit Gmail in Chrome, but we had to logout before we saw the prompt. It’s not unusual for a logout / login to be necessary to see changes in Gmail; we’ve seen that scenario before.
Note: the changes also mean you can set web calendar links to open in Chrome, too. You’ll see a separate prompt for that.