Microsoft updates Edge with extension sync, sidebar search and other features

New browser features added for developers and information workers

As part of Build 2020, Microsoft Edge is getting several significant updates, including extension sync, sidebar search, automatic profile switching and other features. Most features are geared toward developers and “information workers” but other users will find some new features useful.

Microsoft Edge now includes support for extension sync. It syncs extensions across more than one computer running Edge, as long as all devices are signed in to the same Microsoft account. IT professionals can also manage which types of data their users can sync, such as excluding passwords. However, it’s not clear if it will sync all extensions installed from the Chrome web store.

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The Edge sidebar already has a number of useful features and, pending updates, will make it easier to do quick searches without opening a new tab. For example, you can highlight text on the screen, right-click on the highlighted text and then search for the term in the sidebar. Business results can also be integrated into search results for companies using Azure.

Automatic profile switching is a new tool that enables you to split work and personal items within the browser. You can assign specific URLs to a work profile. If you click a work URL while in your personal profile, it will automatically open in your work profile. 

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Microsoft Edge will also work more effectively with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Windows 10 users can open PWAs in a standalone menu using Edge and add the apps to the Start Menu and taskbar.

Pinterest users can take advantage of Edge’s Collections feature, which allows you to create groups of content, including links, images, text and notes, from multiple websites and browser sessions. It integrates with Pinterest to suggest content related to your collected content and  exports your collections to Pinterest.

Since switching to Chromium, Edge has become the world’s second most popular desktop browser.

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