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article imageMicrosoft slip-up reveals Edge browser extensions coming soon

By James Walker     Dec 10, 2015 in Technology
The erroneous posting of a Microsoft webpage has revealed that support for third-party extension support could be nearly ready for its new Edge browser. The feature was first expected to arrive in November but ultimately needed more development time.
Browser extensions will be familiar to users of Chrome and Firefox. They are essentially small apps and widgets that can be installed to enhance website functionality or add additional browser features.
When Microsoft launched Windows 10 in July, it came with the new Edge browser preinstalled by default. Extension support was absent, even though Microsoft had already announced it was in the works. The company was widely expected to add in support in the operating system's major update this November but failed to meet the deadline. It now claims we'll see extensions at some point in early 2016 after an initial release to Insider builds.
Extensions are coming to Microsoft Edge  as shown in these images of a webpage spotted by @h0x0d
Extensions are coming to Microsoft Edge, as shown in these images of a webpage spotted by @h0x0d
WalkingCat, @h0x0d [Twitter]
That first release looks to be nearly ready to go live if a page on Microsoft's website is anything to go by. Twitter user WalkingCat (@h0x0d) discovered the page while browsing Microsoft's site, publishing an image online before the company quickly pulled it from public view.
It contains links for consumers to download extensions and developers to get started building new ones. Placeholder text describes a "selection of extensions" available for Microsoft Edge beginning with an unspecified build of Windows 10.
A screenshot of Edge shows extensions actually in use. Once installed, they appear to display at the top of the browser's menu, next to the Hub, Web Notes and Share buttons. An "Extensions" menu item is also added, presumably containing options to remove existing or install new extensions.
Extensions are coming to Microsoft Edge  as shown in these images of a webpage spotted by @h0x0d
Extensions are coming to Microsoft Edge, as shown in these images of a webpage spotted by @h0x0d
WalkingCat, @h0x0d [Twitter]
The webpage shows just two extensions as available at the moment, Pinterest's "Pin It" button and the popular Reddit Enhancement Suite, a tool that overhauls the browsing experience when on Reddit's website. More extensions are expected to become available in the future because developers have next to no work to do when porting an existing Google Chrome extension.
In a separate tweet, WalkingCat compared the Edge extensions and their Chrome originals, finding the main change is a substitution of "chrome" with "msBrowser" in the code. Microsoft has said all along that it will be easy for developers to write extensions for Edge as being able to simply change Chrome references to Windows ones makes it more likely that the Edge extension store will be populated quickly after launch.
Currently, there's still no word on when a version of Windows 10 with functioning Edge extensions will be released. The feature has been anticipated by fans but Microsoft is keen to ensure its launch goes smoothly. Any issues could deter users from sticking with Edge and potentially turn away developers considering a port of their existing Chrome extensions.
More about Microsoft, Edge, Web browser, Browser, Extensions
 
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