This one bugs me since years, and I'm guessing it may not be solvable:
When clicking the link to a document (let's say a DOC file) inside Internet Explorer on a SharePoint 2010 website, Internet Explorer somehow instructs Office to start up and load the document via WebDAV (I guess it is WebDAV).
In contrast, if I do the same in any non-IE browser (i.e. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Opera), the click on the link to a document simply downloads the file instead of passing the URL on to the office application.
My question is:
Is it possible to configure the server or the browser (both server-side solutions or client-side solutions are suitable in our environment) to not download a copy of a document but instead pass the request to the appropriate application?
Update August 2015:
Since Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge browser is now officially released, I tried to open SharePoint documents from within Edge.
And it works! The document actually gets openend in Office and not getting downloaded.
Since from my understanding, Edge does not suport ActiveX there has to be some kind of other mechanism going on here.
Update May 2016:
I've just discovered that when clicking an Excel oder Word link from within Google Chrome (I'm using version 52 of Chrome), a popup occurs and asks whether to open the file in Excel (or Word). So it is not trying to download the file.
It seems that there are now URI scheme handlers for these file types on my system.
I'm using Windows 10 with Office 2016 and SharePoint 2013.
I honestly don't know whether it is Google Chrome, Windows 10, Office 2016 or even SharePoint 2013 itself that is responsible for registering these URI scheme handlers.
But anyway I'm really happy!
(It probably will work for other Office documents like e.g. PowerPoint, too).
It will also work on Firefox, once I enabled the execution of Microsoft Office within Firefox.