Microsoft announced in 2018 that it will convert Edge to a Chromium-based browser during 2019.
Chromium is the same open-source rendering engine that underpins Google Chrome. The Chromium engine will enhance Edge’s web compatibility and expand its extension repository.
Now the Microsoft Edge Insider Addons webpage is back online and includes more extensions than before.
The Windows tipster WalkingCat first spotted the new Microsoft Edge Insider Addons webpage earlier in March 2019.
That is a webpage which includes addons (or extensions) for the Edge preview that Microsoft will soon release.
Users can try out the preview browser by registering on the Edge Insider programme, which is Edge’s equivalent of the Windows Insider Program.
The Microsoft Edge Insider Addons page briefly disappeared. However, Microsoft has now updated and restored that page. Now the Microsoft Edge Insider Addons page includes 113 extensions.
That webpage includes extensions such AdBlock, Popup Blocker, Amazon Assistant, Clipicious Web Clipper, and Pinterest Save Button.
A few users have already tried out a new leaked version of the Chromium-based Edge browser. Those users have confirmed that they can add extensions to Edge from the Chrome Web Store, as expected, when they enable an Allow extensions from other stores setting on edge://extensions.
Chromium-Edge gets hundreds of new add-ons this year
That is not surprising as the new Edge is based on the same engine as Chrome. So, users are not just restricted to those addons included on the Microsoft Edge Insider addons page.
Google Chrome extensions for Edge means there will be a massive increase in the number of addons for Microsoft’s flagship browser. Chrome’s extension repository completely outstrips Edge’s 228 addons on MS Store.
The number of extensions for Edge has only slowly increased since 2016. That is largely due to Microsoft’s metered approach for new addons.
Microsoft might still continue its curated ecosystem policy for Edge extensions on MS Store. However, that will matter little when users can add Chrome extensions to Edge.
Therefore, the new Chromium-based engine will undoubtedly address Edge’s lack of addons, which was one of that browser’s most notable shortcomings.
However, Chromium Edge will need to offer a little more than more extensions if it is to seriously challenge Chrome and Firefox. Edge also lags behind other browsers when it comes to customization options.
For instance, Edge doesn’t support third-party themes, which there are plenty of for both Firefox and Chrome. So, the new Edge needs to be a more customizable browser than it currently is.
Microsoft has not provided a release date for the first Chromium Edge version. However, with preview versions filtering out, it might not be too long before Microsoft generally releases the revamped Edge for Windows 10, 8.1, and 7.
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