After months of delays, Microsoft released a version of its Edge Web browser that includes support for extensions, the plug-ins that extend functionality and add shortcuts. The feature is available for Windows 10 Insiders, and while there are only three add-ons available at this time, this gives Edge a shot at competing with more established browsers like Chrome.
While extensions are supposed to be available in the Windows Store, users currently need to visit a directory Web page in order to browse and download. The current plug-ins include a port of the Reddit Enhancement Suite that adds user interface modifications and Microsoft extensions that translate foreign language Web pages and enable mouse gesture-based commands.
Users looking to get extensions today will need to make sure their Windows 10 PC is a part of the Windows Insider program and set to update with the Fast Ring schedule. This should allow users to download Windows 10 build 1429, which was released yesterday (Mar. 17).
If you're looking for more options, you'll have to wait until "later this year," according to a blog post from Edge General Manager Drew DeBruyne. Upcoming extensions will include Amazon, Evernote, LastPass and AdBlockPlus.
DeBruyne states that this slow rollout is meant to ensure quality control, stating "one of our highest priorities is to ensure that Microsoft Edge is the safest, most reliable and fastest browser we could build." He warns of what could happen if the extension program were rushed, stating "poorly written or even malicious add-ons were a huge source of security, reliability and performance issues for browsers."