Microsoft Edge Is Getting A New Split Screen Feature, But Is It Enough To Make You Switch Browsers?

With an estimated 11% of the desktop browser market, Microsoft's Edge browser is the second most used desktop browser on the planet, only next to Google Chrome. The latter, of course, dominates the desktop browser market with a dominant 65% of the market, leaving little room for other players. Other notable names in the desktop browser space include Apple's Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera browser — all of which have their market share numbers in single digits.

Given the sheer dominance of Google Chrome in the browser space, it is remarkable that Microsoft's relatively new Edge browser (it's only been around since 2015) has made it to the number two spot. While not known for its extensive set of features, Edge packs in a handy number of features — including support for browser extensions, a dedicated reading mode, and a built-in PDF reader.

Despite being around for nearly 15 years, one feature that has eluded Google Chrome is the ability to compare two tabs side by side. Microsoft seemingly wants to beat Google Chrome to launch this feature. According to an eagle-eyed Reddit user known as Leopeva64-2, Microsoft has begun testing a split-screen feature on the beta and developer versions of the browser. Depending on how successful these tests are, the feature should make it to the stable version of Microsoft Edge in the coming weeks.

What is the big deal with Split Tabs?

For people working with large displays and multi-monitor setups, the addition of a tab-splitting feature might not mean much. However, this has been a long sought-after feature amongst people working with single displays or small laptop-sized screens. Currently, users wanting to compare two tabs or windows next to each other need to either manually resize them side by side or use Windows' own split views feature. Unfortunately, neither of these methods is ideal and both require the user to perform multiple steps.

However, the upcoming Edge feature will let users create a single tab that combines content from the two separate web pages in an easily viewable split format. In addition to creating the split screen, the user can perform various actions with the split tabs, including pinning them as favorites, adding them to tab groups, or even duplicating them.

It is unclear at this time how soon Microsoft intends to bring this feature to the stable version of Microsoft Edge. However, those in a hurry might want to know that the Vivaldi browser already offers this functionality which it calls tab tiling. Additionally, it remains to be seen if adding these features really makes people switch to Edge.