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New Microsoft Edge Browser Will Support The Chrome and Firefox Extensions

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Microsoft Edge

Microsoft’s browser has always been called Internet Explorer but the new Windows 10 browser will be called Edge, and it comes with one unusual feature — Edge can use Chrome and Firefox extensions. So it can hijack or steal extensions whatever you prefer to call it.

This browser is a big redesign for Microsoft, which has relied on iterative changes to Internet Explorer all these years. The code name was Spartan, and that should give you a clue as to the approach being taken. Edge is designed to be slim and fast. It drops support for legacy technologies like ActiveX and browser helper objects. It runs on a new rendering engine called EdgeHTML, which is a fork of Microsoft’s IE engine known as Trident. Edge will include deep integration with services like One Drive and Cortana as well.

Launching a new browser inevitably comes with some growing pains as users are forced to do without many of the extensions they’ve come to rely on. Microsoft’s solution to this is allowing users to install extensions designed for both Firefox and Chrome. You won’t just be able to install the Chrome or Firefox version of a plugin, but Edge will understand the extension if it’s tweaked a little. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore says the popular Reddit Enhancement Suite add-on was ported to Edge with virtually zero work. It’s similar to Microsoft building support for Android and iOS apps into Windows 10.

Edge will be the default browser in Windows 10 and Windows Phone 10. It’s going to have its own HTML and JavaScript extensions eventually as well, but by not implementing a completely different extension system, Microsoft is making it easier to transition to Edge. Chrome is getting awfully bloated these days and I am very happy to hear about the Edge.


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