This, well, this has been a long time coming. Windows 10 launched officially on July 29, 2015, and with it came the new web browser to replace Internet Explorer, which was named Edge. If you go back to our Windows 10 Review, Edge brought some nice features with it, but it was really lacking in functionality at the same time. From not being able to right click and save a file (that’s fixed now) to having no ability to sync across devices (sort of fixed), Edge was an improvement over Internet Explorer and a step back at the same time. For most people, the one big issue that was missing was extension support. Internet Explorer used a plug-in model, and that was deprecated with Edge, but until today there have only been mentions of Extensions coming to Edge.

After much waiting, that finally changes today. Microsoft has taken the wraps off of the feature, bringing it to the Windows Insiders in a new build which came out late today. As with most new feature additions in Windows 10, the update to Edge is made available to those in the Fast Ring first, and over time it will be deployed to the other rings, and then to all users.

The Extensions were shown off at Build in 2015, so the actual coding part is known. Edge extensions are very similar to Google Chrome extensions, so developers will be able to quickly port their extensions over for Edge. At the moment there are only three extensions, but expect this to increase quickly. Microsoft specifically calls out upcoming support for popular extensions such as AdBlock, AdBlock Plus, Amazon, LastPass, and Evernote. As an avid user of LastPass myself, not having it has made using Edge quite cumbersome so I look forward to the day that this arrives.

For this initial build, extensions have to be sideloaded by downloading them from the site and then installing them, but as was laid out at Build last year, extensions will be added to the Windows Store to make it easier to safely install and remove extensions as needed.

Additionally, Edge is also adding support for Pinned Tabs, which keep tabs always open and on the very left of the tab bar whenever the browser is opened. Simply right click the tab bar when on a page, and you can pin it to the side. The site title bar will be just the favicon for the site, to save space on the bar.

Finally, Edge in this preview build now has Paste and Go support from the context menu. I’ve heard people requesting this so I think it’s a pretty popular request.

The Fast Ring has certainly become “faster” lately, with more builds coming out than ever before. Up to this point, the new feature additions have been small as Microsoft changed core support inside of Windows 10, but with the new Redstone release set for the next couple of months, expect more features to be added in the upcoming builds.

Source: Windows Blog

 

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  • Gothmoth - Friday, March 18, 2016 - link

    FAVORITES... FAVORITES microsoft.

    the handling of FAVORITES is a joke in EDGE.

    no way i use EDGE when it can´t handle FAVORITES better.
    Reply
  • SpartanJet - Friday, March 18, 2016 - link

    It handles favorites fine? I mean its not horrific like that ad companies spyware browser which makes you have a huge horizontal bar for favorites that takes up waaaay too much screen space compared to a nice favorites drop down menu like in firefox. Reply
  • Gothmoth - Friday, March 18, 2016 - link

    it can not even sort them in a convenient way.
    and i don´t even start to talk about favorite management.

    it´s like using a browser from 15 years ago.
    Reply
  • Donkey2008 - Saturday, March 19, 2016 - link

    Amen brother. One of the things IE did great was handle favorites. It was incredibly simple (a folder with shortcuts) but worked fine. In Edge it is simply frustrating trying to organize them. Reply
  • Houdani - Friday, March 18, 2016 - link

    Complete agreement here. Wrestling with their favorites manager was my first experience with Edge (after importing from another browser) and it left a very bad taste in the mouth.

    Drag, drop, rearrange, rename, browse nested folders. All of these were rubbish. Not to mention the double/triple spacing for every menu & list. Major waste of space for mouse users.

    They have to make a concerted effort to improve the user experience before I consider using it again.
    Reply
  • Valantar - Friday, March 18, 2016 - link

    With Lastpass support, I can finally give this a go. That's good, as I've been looking forward to testing Edge for myself. Looks pretty good otherwise, although cross-device sync needs to work properly. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Friday, March 18, 2016 - link

    Ad Block here i come! Reply
  • xdesire - Friday, March 18, 2016 - link

    so it took the almighty MS a whole year to implement pin tab, paste and go and "some" extensions to their browser? so at this rate, they'll manage to reach chrome level like in 5 more years... Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Friday, March 18, 2016 - link

    Yes, they lost a lot of ground in features with this "rewrite" or "reboot" of IE. Although IE was always about 5 years behind the cutting edge browsers on features anyway. That's not necessarily a bad thing: I don't like using browsers that are constantly meddling with their UI and feature set, I'd rather only have the well-tested stuff. Reply
  • Donkey2008 - Saturday, March 19, 2016 - link

    That is why most Enterprise still sticks with IE for things like Oracle or Citrix compatibility. It is a browser. It needs to display websites securely. That's it. As long as it has a basic feature set it will work fine for 99.9% of people.

    That said, I like Chrome because it is faster then IE by a longshot (that is without pre-fetch enabled) and it never locks up like IE seems to do on every other website, but I never really understood why browser choice is such a big deal for some users, as if their browser choice determined the kind of person they are. At the companies I work with it is ALWAYS Android/Google/Chrome users who have to make a big drama out of having to use IE on their work computers.
    Reply

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