Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system isn’t the only thing that’s getting a staggered release. This week, Microsoft Edge team members Sean Lyndersay and Charles Morris sat down for an interview and revealed that the much hyped, new Windows internet browser “Edge” would also be released gradually on Windows PCs, mobile devices, Xbox One and HoloLens (most likely alongside the launch of Windows 10 on each platform) and true parity between the different versions, despite being a Universal App, would simply not be possible at launch.
Charles Morris admitted that while the core experience of an app would be the same on each device, there were limitations due to the different way apps were presented that prevented them from creating a truly identical user experience. An example given were the numerous plugins that would work with Edge on PC and could potentially change the user interface by adding additional buttons and controls. Including all those visual extras on a mobile device would cram the screen and potentially affect a device’s battery life. They did confirm however that plugin support will be coming to mobile versions of Edge, but due to the issues raised, they will be adding this functionality at a later date.
Sean Lyndersay and Charles Morris were both asked about the Xbox One and HoloLens versions of the Edge browser but simply replied that those are in the pipeline and that right now they’re working on PC and mobile, suggesting a launch on those devices sometime after the Windows 10 launch on phones.
While it does make sense to perfect the Windows 10 experience on each platform before moving onto the next, the staggered release does take a bit of wind out of Microsoft’s sails as does the realization that not all features will be available from day one. Despite the hype of a true unified user experience, the reality is that this is something that Microsoft will be building towards over the next year and possibly beyond and expectations should be adjusted accordingly.