Microsoft Edge browser extensions won't be coming until 2016

Just when you thought the browser wars have mostly settled down peacefully into camps, Microsoft may yet have a contender to reignite those flames. Of course it's not the well-aged, even expired, Internet Explorer but the shiny new Microsoft Edge. While already praised for its speed, performance, and clean interface, the browser lacks one feature that could help change the tide of battle in its favor. Microsoft did promise browser extensions would be coming soon, but now it is saying that "soon" really means some time next year.

Extensions have become the weapon of choice of web browser makers in differentiating their products, allowing them to focus on performance, stability, and security while letting others worry about adding new features on the sides. With web standards mostly followed and performance mostly, but not completely, on par with each other, browser users tend to flow to the ones that support their favorite extensions.

It isn't that surprising though still disappointing that Microsoft Edge launched without extensions whatsoever. After all, Microsoft did start from scratch and building extension support on top of that takes time to get right. It doesn't, and rightly so, support Internet Explorer extensions either. Microsoft promised something that would use HTML and Javascript ala Chrome extensions. In fact, it may even support Chrome extensions, though that might be unlikely initially.

Microsoft Edge extension were expected to arrive in next month's major Windows 10 update, but now Microsoft has come out to say that it will instead arrive in 2016, no date or even month attached.

"We're committed to providing customers with a personalized web experience, which is why bringing extensions to Microsoft Edge continues to be a high priority. We're actively working to develop a secure extension model to make the safest and most reliable browser for our customers, and look forward to sharing more in a future Windows 10 update in 2016."

Given how Internet Explorer was lambasted for its security holes and instability, it is understandable that Microsoft wants to distance Edge from that image in every possible way. That said, it is still a disappointing delay that could cost Microsoft some huge points in the browser market.

VIA: Ars Technica