13 months after its release, Microsoft Edge now has over 70 browser extensions

October 13th, 2017

Microsoft’s latest  Edge browser doesn’t have the extensive number and variety of browser plugins available which the other popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and others provide for their users, but the company has meticulously been working for the continuous improvement of the capabilities and usefulness of the add-ons which it offers its users.

 

Microsoft Edge browser extensions

Celebrating an anniversary from the introduction of its Edge browser, Microsoft has been providing more extensive information in regard to the over 70 browser extensions it has available for its users, and has been informing the public about the reasons for the limited number of add-ons it has been introducing for its browser.

How it all started

The use of browser extensions was actually first introduced by Microsoft back in 1999 when it made available the first plugins for its then browser Internet Explorer 5. Today, millions of users are downloading and using browser add-ons for various tasks and services, including: add blocking, password saving, spell checking, cashback and online shopping and numerous other features and functions.

When Edge was first introduced with the latest Windows 10 operating system, there was an immediate demand for extensions by the millions of users who had upgraded to the latest version of Windows.  Initially, Microsoft’s browser came with an option of only 13 extensions.  Today, a year later, Edge supports a growing number of extensions, including: Grammarly, AdBlock Plus, Pinterest, LastPass and over 65 others.  Microsoft insists that it has been carefully working on advancing the features of the extensions for Edge in order to provide the most secure and highest quality plugins for its browser, which explains why the rate of development and introduction of new add-ons has been lagging as compared to that of the other leading Internet browsers. The goal of the company is to work on the introduction of the most highly requested extensions for its browser first, and then gradually expand their number by improving the “onboarding experience” for the browser extension developers who want to work on Edge browser plugins.

 

 

Microsoft’s stress on quality and security for its Edge extensions

Microsoft has been stressing the importance of providing reliable and safe browser extensions for its users rather than rushing into introducing hundreds and thousands of extensions which have not been meticulously tested and vetted by the company. Currently, all 70 extensions you can find at the online store are free or at least can be downloaded and installed for free.

The management has been urging developers and users both to provide feedback in regard to their development and browsing experience, in order to work on improving the quality of the extensions.  As an official note from Microsoft states: “Extensions are one of the most substantial features in a new browser, and we have a high bar for quality.”

Microsoft has been prioritizing the APIs which it supports for the development of plugins for its Internet browser and has been thanking the growing number of Edge users and partners it has been working with throughout the past year since the introduction of Edge along with Windows 10.

Still, chances are that if you are a regular user of popular browser extensions which are available for Google Chrome or Firefox, it is very likely that you will find a cross-browser version which can be installed on Edge as well. The problem is for users who rely on highly specialized and niche extensions for their browsers – for which they will need to wait if they want to install them with Edge.

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