Microsoft Provides More Details About Edge Improvements in the Creators Update

Posted on January 31, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 31 Comments

Microsoft today provided a rundown of the new features we can expect its in Edge web browser in the Windows 10 Creators Update.

I highlighted all of these features previously in my Windows 10 Creators Update Preview. But today’s Microsoft missive provides a bit more information. So here’s a quick overview.

Tab management

In the Creators Update, Microsoft Edge picks up a ton of new tab management features that the firm says are aimed at addressing “the chaos and clutter of the web and the fear of losing tabs.”

The idea here is clear enough: With Windows 10 users spending over 50 percent of their time browsing the web, navigating among your open tabs can quickly become an arduous task.

“People often have many tabs open at any given time, resulting in stress about losing open tabs, not being able to pick up where they left off, or simply losing focus due to information overload,” Microsoft Edge general manager Drew DeBruyne writes in a new Windows Experience post.

With that in mind, Edge will offer the following new features in the Creators Update:

Show tab thumbnails. Now, you can see a preview of all open tabs visually: Just select the new Show tab previews control to toggle this display. (You can still mouse-over individual tabs to see each tab preview individually too, as before.)

Set tabs aside. Using a new Set these tabs aside control, you can now get a fresh start, as Microsoft says, removing distractions and providing a clean browser, while being able to pick up right where you left off at any time. (Just select the Tabs you’ve set aside control to do so.)

More browser capabilities

Microsoft has long innovated in bringing low-level OS capabilities like hardware rendering to its web browser,s. And Edge is not different: In the Creators Update, it will pick up a number of new experiences. These include:

3D capabilities. Edge utilizes WebVR technologies to provide virtual reality experiences in the web browser. And this will work with coming Windows Mixed Reality hardware, DeBruyne says. “We continue to explore how 3D content can revolutionize the web, and we’re hard at work in standards bodies to deliver a new interoperable immersive web,” DeBruyne notes. “These are exciting times, and we’re thrilled to participate.”

eBooks. Microsoft Edge will add support for the EPUB e-book format and for the new e-book store experience in the Windows Store. This feature also integrates with Cortana, and provides spoken-word reading of e-books.

Easier online shopping. In the Creators Update, Edge picks up support for the Payment Request API, which enables integration with Microsoft Wallet and whatever payment methods you’ve configured. “On participating websites, users will have the option to checkout quickly using their payment information stored securely in Microsoft Wallet so they don’t have to navigate through traditional checkout flows and repeatedly enter the same payment and shipping address information,” DeBruyne explains.

Extension improvements. Edge picked up support for browser extensions last year. With the Creators Update, this functionality will be expanded to include more APIs and thus more capabilities, including access to Favorites, roaming data between PCs, and the ability to securely communicate with other installed applications.

Core improvements. This new version of Edge is “faster, safer, and more efficient than ever,” DeBruyne says, thanks to constant low-level refinements. Microsoft promises more information about this work soon.

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