Microsoft Touts the Growth of Extensions in Edge

Posted on September 29, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 45 Comments

Microsoft Touts the Growth of Extensions in Edge

A little over a year after Microsoft Edge first gained extension support, there are now over 70 extensions available for Microsoft’s browser.

“It has been a little more than a year since Microsoft first shipped the number one requested feature for Microsoft Edge – extensions,” a blog post credited to the Microsoft Edge Team notes. “Today, we are excited to share a few updates on the progress we have made since then, and a quick look at what’s planned for the future.”

Since shipping the first extensions for Microsoft Edge in mid-2016, the software giant has worked to improve the capabilities of extensions. This includes the following:

Native messaging. This allows an extension to communicate with a UWP app on the PC so that it can integrate with more sophisticated functionality outside of the browser.

Bookmarks This lets the extension access your favorites (with your permission, of course).

Improved APIs. This one is a bit vague, but Microsoft says that it has “improved and fleshed out the existing API classes” that were originally provided in the Anniversary Update, in effect increasing the number of APIs by over 30 percent.

Fundamentals. Over time, the reliability and performance of the Edge extension platform have improved, and Microsoft says it will continue to focus on improving these fundamentals in future releases too.

While I’ve complained about the slow pace of extension availability in Microsoft Edge, the firm says it has deliberately “metered” their release.

“Extensions are one of the most substantial features in a new browser, and we have a high bar for quality,” Microsoft says. “Because extensions interact so closely with the browser, we have been very attuned to the security, performance, and reliability of Microsoft Edge with these extensions enabled. Starting with a small group of the most popularly requested extensions has allowed us to mature our extension ecosystem as alongside our extension platform, as well as to build a smooth onboarding experience for developers over time.”

Today, with over 70 extensions, including some heavy-hitters, the situation isn’t so dire. In fact, my most-needed extensions, including Grammarly, are available in Edge. And as I noted in Edge of 17(09): Microsoft’s Browser Edges Forward, Edge’s support of extensions is finally “good enough.” This is no longer a reason to skip out on Microsoft Edge.


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