We all know and love browser extensions. Heck, Google loved them so much they were able to transform Chrome into a full fledged operating system. Of course, things are a little different over at Microsoft. It’s been almost a year since Microsoft upgraded Edge to allow for Edge Extensions. Since that time, the collection has been growing, but at a rather slow pace.
It turns out, this slow growth of extensions is intentional. Some of the major browser extensions, such as AdBlock and LastPass, made it to their library rather quickly, but in most cases Microsoft is taking a more cautious approach to their extension library. According to Microsoft, this pace is part of their mission to create a “thoughtfully curated ecosystem” of extensions. By moving slowly and deliberately, they can maintain a “high bar for quality” on the extensions by enforcing extended testing on potential Edge Extensions.
Microsoft said: “We are extremely sensitive to the potential impact of extensions on your browsing experience and want to make sure that the extensions we do allow are high-quality and trustworthy. We want Microsoft Edge to be your favorite browser, with the fundamentals you expect – speed, power efficiency, reliability, security. Poorly written or even malicious add-ons for browsers remain a potential source of privacy, security, reliability and performance issues, even today. We want users to be confident that they can trust extensions in Microsoft to operate as expected.”
According to Microsoft, there are over 70 Edge Extensions currently available on the Windows Store, and that number is expected to steadily rise. Over the past year, the company has been working to improve its API’s so more powerful extensions can be created. Once that is complete, then you can expect the number of extensions to increase even more as developers are able to harness more power to create more powerful extensions.
Still, Microsoft has a long way to go before they rival the number extensions available for Chrome or Firefox. Will they ever be able to catch up? Time will tell. But quantity isn’t always better than quality. If Microsoft keeps a tight leash on what is allowed on Edge, the quality of the addons could be much better than some you will find available for Chrome and Firefox, and that could make a huge difference in the browser wars in the future.
There is no doubt that Microsoft still has much work to do if they ever want Edge to truly take the lead in the world of browsers, but it seems they are taking their time and trying to do it right. Is it too little, too late? Who knows. We will just have to wait and see. So far, Edge still lags far behind Chrome and the other browsers on the market. But a lot can happen in a year, and if MIcrosoft keeps the pace, we may see a shift in browser usage.
Are you waiting for a particular Edge extension or have you been considering the switch to Edge? If so, tell us about in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.