Microsoft Edge browser extensions leaked, coming really soon

Microsoft almost had the perfect replacement for decaying titan that was Internet Explorer. Well, almost. Microsoft Edge was fast, light, and capable. It was, in short, good enough for casual browsing. But for the less casual users that probably make up more than half of its user population, the browser was severely lacking in one crucial feature: extensions. Microsoft promised extensions would be coming, but delayed fulfilling that promise to next year. Now it seems that it might be closer than we expected, with a leaked image making its way over the Internet to show how those extensions will look and work.

Extensions are an interesting phenomenon on web browsers. They are, to some extent, the equivalent of apps on our smartphones, extending the platform's core functionality with third party features and integrations. They have also become where the lines are drawn in today's browser wars.

So when Microsoft Edge launched without support for extensions of any kind, the browser felt naked, to be graphic about it. Microsoft was well aware of the need and promised easy to install, and easy to port, extensions would be coming soon. Soon might not come soon enough, and easy won't exactly be easy. At least not for users and not initially.

Based on this image, installing an extension would require downloading a ZIP file and then manually copying that to a specific folder. Nevermind the effort of navigating to that folder, the security issues alone should make anyone wary of this method. Hopefully, Microsoft will immediately follow it up with a dedicated and carefully curated store of extensions. Considering we are talking about Windows and web browsers, one cannot be too careful.

That said, the leak doesn't really give us a firm date when to expect Edge extensions to land. Given the method of installation, we presume, or hope, this is for a very early beta that will roll out early next year.

VIA: Windows Central