Tired of Microsoft Outlook loading up every time you so much as look at an email ID? Well not literally but I sure was tired of Microsoft Outlook loading up every time I clicked at an email link or ID. This was all the more frustrating since I did not even use Microsoft Outlook having tired of its inability to sync my contacts not to mention the time it took to load. I have been a Gmail user now since it came out and have also been using Google Apps lately so Gmail is more or less my primary email account. While I have not succeeded to the extent that Gmail will automatically load up when I even think the word mail or email, Gmail does open up every time I click on any email ID or link.
There are lots of options and ways to do it as a cursory search on Google Search will reveal and most of them have to do with either installing software or hacking into the registry. If you are not comfortable with either then I have found an easier alternative. The simplest way to do this is to visit Google Pack at http://pack.google.com/intl/en/pack_installer.html and get Google Apps from them to install on your system. While Google Apps are being installed on your system you will have the option of setting up Gmail and your default email client and once this is done you can go ahead and delete the Google Apps shortcuts from your desktop. Do note you will only need to install Google Apps from the above link and while I do recommend Google Chrome Web Browser and Google Desktop as must have, you can get by without them or the rest of the software from Google Pack.
Finally if you have your domain and its services hosted on Google Apps then you would want Gmail, Docs and Calendar to open with your Google Apps hosted Domain ID and not the generic Gmail or Google Services ID. For such please log into your Google Apps and choose Manage This Domain and then navigate to Advanced Tools. In the Advanced Tools section download Google Apps Desktop Features and you are all set to go. The first time you click on the Google Apps on your PC or laptop it will ask to configure as default, please confirm, and you are all set.