It looks like we are now going to be enjoying constant updates, Reddit discussion comments, and rumours and gossip about the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser, which is fine by me as I do love a good bit of goss. The latest news is about Edge and Chrome extensions.
It’s all about the extensions
In all honesty, the news that all Chrome extensions will be available for Microsoft’s new Chromium-based browser is not really news. If they weren’t going to be available, then we would have to ask what the point of the change was.
One of the biggest complaints about Microsoft Edge was its lack of extensions. Even when Microsoft started to work with developers and extensions started arriving in Microsoft Store, comparisons with Chrome were unavoidable.
Quite frankly, Microsoft was always going to be fighting a losing battle against Chrome. When it comes to extensions, the legions of developers working on Chrome extensions were never going to be troubled by Microsoft, no matter what.
How will the extensions be downloaded?
One thing that will need to be worked out is how Chromium-based Microsoft Edge users will get access to the extensions. It is highly unlikely that they will be able to pop over to the Microsoft Store to download them.
PWAs will certainly be supported, and users will be able to find them in the Microsoft Store. However, extensions will be another thing. Microsoft Edge Project Manager Kyle Alden said on Reddit,
We expect to provide support for PWAs to be installed directly from the browser (much like with Chrome) in addition to the current Store approach.
However, he didn’t say much else except that, “PWAs behaving like native apps is still an important principle for [Microsoft]”.
Wrapping it all up
I suspect that when all is said and done, we will end up with a Microsoft browser that is little more than a clone of Chrome. This begs the same question I posed in a earlier article, which was, “What’s the point?”
There may be one answer to that question. With Google losing the moral high-ground on an almost daily basis, users may well decide they have had enough of Chrome. If they do, they will look elsewhere for a browser.
Well, 90% of the world’s computers still run on a Windows OS. A new, improved Chromium-based Microsoft Edge may be just what people are looking for.
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