Edge first received support for extensions as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update released in August 2016. More than a year has passed since then, and Microsoft is now offering an update on the state of Edge extensions.
When it first got the ability to support them, Edge had 13 extensions: AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Amazon Assistant, Evernote Web Clipper, LastPass, Mouse Gestures, Office Online, OneNote Web Clipper, Page Analyzer, Pinterest Save Button, Reddit Enhancement Suite, Save to Pocket, and Translator for Microsoft Edge. Thirteen months later, there are now “over 70 extensions worldwide” in the Windows Store.
I checked this “over 70” number and, at least on my computer, it turned out to be exactly 70. Here they are:
Ratings range from two stars to a perfect five stars. All of the extensions are either completely free or can at least be installed for free.
Microsoft wants you to know that this slow growth is deliberate. The explanation is worth reproducing in full:
We have taken a purposefully metered approach as we onboard new extensions. Extensions are one of the most substantial features in a new browser, and we have a high bar for quality. Because extensions interact so closely with the browser, we have been very attuned to the security, performance, and reliability of Microsoft Edge with these extensions enabled. Starting with a small group of the most popularly requested extensions has allowed us to mature our extension ecosystem as alongside our extension platform, as well as to build a smooth onboarding experience for developers over time.
As we’ve continued to work on the extensions platform, we sometimes get questions asking why the list of extensions isn’t growing faster. What gives?
We are extremely sensitive to the potential impact of extensions on your browsing experience and want to make sure that the extensions we do allow are high-quality and trustworthy. We want Microsoft Edge to be your favorite browser, with the fundamentals you expect – speed, power efficiency, reliability, security. Poorly written or even malicious add-ons for browsers remain a potential source of privacy, security, reliability and performance issues, even today. We want users to be confident that they can trust extensions in Microsoft to operate as expected. As such, we continue to evaluate each extension submission to ensure that it will bring value to our users and support our goals for a healthy ecosystem.
While I’m sure Microsoft cares about Edge extension security, the reality is that Microsoft hasn’t managed to get developers excited about its platform. It’s unfortunate the company didn’t have extensions available when Edge launched — that would have been the time to get developers on board.
Still, this is enough for most users. If you only use one or two popular Chrome extensions of Firefox add-ons, chances are you can use the equivalent extensions on Edge. For anyone that relies on niche extensions or uses a long list, Edge can’t help.