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After one year, Edge extensions ecosystem is growing slowly… on purpose

A year ago, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update finally brought extensions support to Microsoft Edge, and there are now over 70 extensions for the new browser on the Windows Store. This number is extremely low compared to what you can enjoy on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, but this slow development is not the result of developers neglecting Microsoft’s new browser. As the Redmond giant revealed today, the company is “building a thoughtfully curated ecosystem” that will only get bigger as Microsoft enables more powerful extensions through new APIs.

Colleen Williams, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge explained in a blog post today that the company is doing what’s necessary to deliver a quality experience to users of the new browser. To do that, the Edge team has to make sure that new extensions don’t impact the security, performance and reliability of Microsoft Edge:

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.

The blog post also reveals that the Windows Insider program is key to improve the reliability of Microsoft’s extension platform (as you may know, new preview builds sometimes break some extensions when Microsoft enable new APIs or make other changes to its extension platform). “As this list grows, we will continue to preview new functionality and experimental extensions starting with Windows Insiders for testing and feedback, followed by a broader release via the Windows Store, to ensure the quality of the end-to-end experience,” explained Williams.

Over 70 Edge extensions in the Windows Store may not seem much right now, but there are definitely some quality items in the list such as popular password managers, Pinterest, Pocket, Microsoft Translator, Grammarly and more. “We continue to prioritize what APIs we should support, and what partners we should work with from user feedback, so please keep it coming,” added Williams.

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Do you think Microsoft is right to favour quality over quantity?