Microsoft Publishes a New Roadmap for the New Edge

Posted on February 17, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge with 29 Comments

Microsoft has published a list of features it plans to add to its Edge web browser over the next several months.

“We added a new item to our list: Enable navigation of PDF files via [a] table of contents is now Under Review,” Microsoft’s Missy Quarry writes in a new Tech Community post. “[And] we think you all will be excited to see that one of our top items has moved to In Discussion: Bring the tab preview feature from the current version of Microsoft Edge.”

Those are useful new features. But the updated roadmap—which consists of a list of features that Microsoft plans to add to Edge, or is at least considering—contains a few bigger items, including history sync, which is planned for “Summer,” and extension sync, which we recently learned will hit the Canary channel this month.

Here are some other interesting features heading to the new Edge this year:

  • Option to set a custom photo as the New Tab Page background photo. Expected this month.
  • Make Edge available on Linux. No time frame, but it is officially planned now.
  • Support read-aloud of PDF files. Planned.
  • An option to add a share button to the toolbar. Planned.
  • Add the ability to ink on web pages. Planned.
  • Support themes from the Chrome Web Store. Planned.
  • Provide an option to prevent auto-play of video and audio when you open a website. Planned.

Additionally, Microsoft is discussing adding certain features, such as a transparent theme for the browser frame and the addition of Fluent Design System elements, but there’s no guarantee any of those will make it into the product. And some features—like hiding the Bing search bar on the New Tab page and allowing that to be changed to another search provider—are under review.

Of course, some feature requests aren’t going to make the cut. Microsoft notes that it doesn’t plan to support mouse gestures for common actions like navigation and tab close, or allow users to sign-in to the browser with a Google account, for example.

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “Microsoft Publishes a New Roadmap for the New Edge”

  1. Daekar

    These all sound super promising. It's funny, it's like they're in my head figuring out exactly what I want to see...

  2. glenn8878

    Not forcing you to sign-in to Google is a plus. I'll use it for sure.

  3. JH_Radio

    I've found (and I dunno if this is every site or not), but CNET does audo vids, but if you enter reader mode the vids stop and I can read my articles much much easier. I only wish there was a keyboard shortcut for this. Right now I do ctrl+L then tab twice and hit space.

  4. bnyklue

    So history sync won't be added until "summer" for a browser that launched in January? How does that make sense?

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to bnyklue:

      Launched in January

      History or other forms of syncing are tied to the rendering engine? If not, this should have been part of Edge going back to its beginning in 2015.

  5. irfaanwahid

    "Provide an option to prevent auto-play of video and audio when you open a website. Planned." This is very important to me. I really hate it when AV starts auto play as soon as the page loads.

  6. anderb

    Proper autoplay blocking has been 'planned' for 25 weeks now so don't hold your breath for any of these features to be delivered any time soon.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to anderb:

      Or use a browser which has had either built-in or extension autoplay blockers for years. FWIW, Chrome, Firefox and forks, and Opera all have extensions to disable autoplay videos. That plus the AutoMute extension and an ad blocker are essential extensions for me, among the first things I add to a newly installed browser.

  7. hrlngrv

    | Support read-aloud of PDF files

    The current OS-bundled Narrator can't handle anything in Edge? Or does this mean Edge would have it's own equivalent for Narrator just for itself? If the latter, why? For Linux? Can't give Orca a chance for a toe hold?

  8. mejason83

    I'll def make the jump when the Linux version is available. Brave is great, but the syncing is wonky at best.

  9. sherlockholmes

    Why is Microsoft so into ink? I dont get it. I dont even use the touch display on my laptop.

    • JCerna

      In reply to SherlockHolmes: EDU and Surface super important, we miss it currently since we upgraded edge and its now gone, only available for pdfs.

    • IanYates82

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:

      Ink is one of those things that, if you find it useful, it's *really* useful.

    • beakin

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:

      For most users it doesn't matter. Even for me, an ink user, I use it rarely. But the ways I use it dramatically streamline my workflows and simplify a range of common tasks, so much so that I genuinely won't consider non-ink-supporting devices anymore as daily drivers.

      I think that's the crux of it -- it's not widespread, but it's sticky. Ink is a meaningful reason for a chunk of users like me to stay with windows over other choices, and honestly, the initial weakness of Edgium vs legacy Edge in ink has been my only real sore spot in switching.

      My guess is there are at least a few decision makers at Microsoft who look like me in that regard.

  10. gmj

    Publishing a roadmap is great! I'm disappointed that "clutter-free printing" hasn't yet made the list … even if you don't actually print a web page, being able to create a PDF without all the extraneous content is a great feature that I hope makes the list eventually.

  11. will

    Now if we could only get this for Windows.........<crickets>

  12. drprw

    I just wish they'd do multi site containers like Firefox. That's the only thing keeping me from moving to edge full-time.

    • j5

      In reply to DrPRW:

      Yeah I'm a heavy Containers user. I have some social media accounts because of kids extra curricular activities. And I like seperating my financial sites as well with it. So yeah hopefully they come out with a similar feature.

      • drprw

        In reply to j5:

        Here's hoping. It's such a nice feature for privacy.

      • Daekar

        In reply to j5:

        So, I'm not sure if there is some subtle difference between the FF containers and the profiles function in Edge, but I used to use containers and now I am able to use Edge by using different profiles. So, for instance, I have a profile for my O365/Active Directory identity at work, and a personal profile tied to my main Microsoft account, a profile tied to a separate Microsoft account I use for another company, and a profile not tied to any account which I use for alternative logins. They each have their own settings, saved logins, extensions, etc. Is that what you mean? You can run them all in parallel, although they are required to reside in different windows.

        • drprw

          In reply to Daekar:

          Thanks for the idea. I'll look into it. I use multisite containers to keep cross site tracking in check. I'd need a different profile for every site I use regularly I guess?

          • Daekar

            In reply to DrPRW:

            Hmmmm... That might be cumbersome to do this way, but perhaps not more than in Firefox. Yes, I think that would work, assuming that nobody is using browser fingerprinting or tracking your IP.

    • Daekar

      In reply to DrPRW:

      What do you mean by this? Can you give an example of how you might use it?

  13. bart

    Really nice MS publishes and updates the road map

  14. benisaacs

    The tab preview is already a flag in Chrome. It’s been there for a few releases already I think.

  15. markld

    I'm warming up to this Edge quite quickly and my use of Chrome has diminished because of it. It's is useful and reliable.

    I do try any browsers out there and Edge has room for improvements.

    I like these new features that will be added, and a BIG YES to "Provide an option to prevent auto-play of video and audio when you open a website" as also mentioned in another comment.

    that is nice.