Or at least, tries to. Edge extensions are in the spotlight right now, with Microsoft publishing a blog post recently detailing why the list of supported plugins for the web browser is growing so slowly.
And the reason is as surprising as you can imagine.
Basically, the software titan says that since it is building a carefully curated ecosystem for this new Windows 10 exclusive web browser, it has set a high bar for quality. Which basically means that its engineers laboriously test the impact of enabling an extension on the browser.
In other words, what kind of an effect a particular add-on has on the performance and security of Microsoft Edge.
Redmond says that it wants Edge to be your favorite web browser, and this entails strict quality control:
“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 there is no denying that approving an extension for a web browser is an extended process that requires a lot of time, not just with Microsoft, but even at Google and Mozilla, the fact that Edge has so few extensions available is probably not due to the strict quality control the company has put in place.
Its small market and usage share is also a big reason that there are only some 70 odd extensions available for it right now.
Nevertheless, the software titan has promised to continue to work with developers and Insiders to bring more Edge extensions for users. It is also working on additional API support for the browser, even as it focuses on improving the feature set of the browser with each new version of Windows 10.
It’s a long road.