Microsoft Edge version 88 is about the hit the stable channel this week, right after Google started rolling out Chrome version 88 on all platforms yesterday. Just like the latest version of Chrome, Microsoft Edge is removing its built-in Flash plugin with this update, and support for the legacy FRP protocol is also going away with this release
There are a couple of new features and design changes coming with Edge version 88, starting with redesigned icons in the browser interface. “In our latest release you’ll notice subtle updates to icons in Microsoft Edge that are rounder and softer in appearance. They are built from a consistent key-line and grid which allows for more visual consistency when scanning menus, lists, etc,” explained Microsoft CVP Liat Ben-Zur today.
Vertical tabs are also going out of beta in Microsoft Edge 88. If you often keep lots of tabs opened in the browser, moving all of them the side can make it easier to see site titles and find the tab you want to open.
For Mac users, the latest Edge update also brings the ability to automatically switch to your work profile when visiting sites that authenticate with it. Single Sign On (SSO) is also available for Azure AD accounts and Microsoft Account (MSA) on macOS and down-level Windows.
Microsoft Edge is also getting a new password generator that will suggest strong passwords when signing up for new accounts on the web, or when changing existing passwords for online services. The browser is also getting a new Password Monitor that will scan your passwords saved in Edge with a list of known-breached credentials and then send you an alert when a match is found.
On the performance front, Microsoft Edge will now waste less resources by putting inactive tabs to sleep. This “Sleeping tabs” feature is currently an experiment and needs to be enabled in the browser settings menu, but Microsoft plans to enable it by default in Microsoft Edge version 89.
Microsoft has also started rolling out new features to Edge users still on version 87, including history and tab sync and the ability to right click on any word on a webpage to do a search in a side panel. The company has also added 24 new themes to celebrate the first anniversary of the Chromium-based Edge, and you can check them out on this page.
Last but not least, Edge users will soon notice a new experiment in the new tab page, with a new smart tile for Outlook showing the three most recent emails as well as shortcuts for creating new mails or events. To use this feature, you’ll need to sign in to Microsoft Edge with the same account you use for Outlook on the web.