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Microsoft Software

Microsoft Explains Why Edge Has So Few Extensions (betanews.com) 152

Mark Wilson writes: It's now a little more than a year since Microsoft first brought extensions to Edge. After so long you would expect the selection of addons to be overwhelming -- but that's far from being the case. In all, there are only 70-odd Edge extensions available, and Microsoft has been moved to explain why.

In a blog post, the company almost apologetically explains that it is "building a thoughtfully curated ecosystem," citing concern over quality and a fear of diminishing the user experience. What some might describe as "slow," Microsoft refers to as a "purposefully metered approach" to new extensions, and you probably shouldn't expect things to speed up a great deal any time soon.

Colleen Williams, senior program manager for Microsoft Edge, says "We want Microsoft Edge to be your favorite browser, with the fundamentals you expect -- speed, power efficiency, reliability, security." She also adds that "Astute observers of our release notes and active testers in the Insider program may have noticed that some preview builds break extensions temporarily."
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Microsoft Explains Why Edge Has So Few Extensions

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  • Sigh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Saturday September 30, 2017 @12:14PM (#55283787) Homepage

    Because they know that all it needs is one plugin, that replaces any web page you visit with a big "DOWNLOAD ANOTHER BROWSER" button that lets you grab Vivaldi, or Chrome/Chromium, or Firefox/IceWeasel, or whatever else.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft, please port Edge to Linux and macOS!

      With Firefox having essentially destroyed itself, and with Firefox 57 breaking nearly all of my extensions, I'm in the market for a new browser. I prefer to use the same browser on all the systems I use, so it has to support Linux and macOS.

      I refuse to use Pale Moon after how its development team treated Pale Moon's users so awfully during the AdNauseam extension blocking disaster [palemoon.org]. Pale Moon doesn't even exist now, as far as I'm concerned.

      I also don't want to u

      • Ha ha - that made me laugh - port it - lol - please - he says. Funny. Good one.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You're probably too young to remember this, or maybe they didn't have computers in Canada back then, but Internet Explorer used to run on classic Mac OS and Mac OS X [wikipedia.org]. And Internet Explorer used to run on Solaris and HP-UX [wikipedia.org], too. So Microsoft porting its web browsers to Mac and UNIX platforms isn't without precedent.

          Maybe you're also ill-informed about how Microsoft has released .NET Core and has ported it to Linux and macOS. And maybe you're also ill-informed about how Microsoft's Visual Studio Core product

          • Don't hold your breath.
      • What's wrong with Opera? I'm using Opera on Linux with no trouble.

        • Opera Software was acquired by some Chinese partnership, last I'd heard. That makes a lot of people uncomfortable about using Opera's products.

          • That makes a lot of people uncomfortable about using Opera's products.

            It makes a lot of people more confident about using Opera's product.

            Opera Software was acquired by some Chinese partnership, last I'd heard.

            No NSA backdoors. I hope. I'll just make sure to use Firefox for my planning to overthrow the Chinese state and Opera for planing to overthrow the USA by campaigning for Trump2020.

        • by Teckla ( 630646 )

          Opera is owned by a dodgy Chinese company now.

          Use it at your own risk.

        • What's wrong with Opera?

          It's essentially Chrome. If Chrome is a browser that sits well with you, then nothing's wrong with Opera, although I'd wonder why not just use Chrome.

      • Oh, give it up already and use Emacs.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Have you tried using Edge in Windows 10 in VirtualBox in GNU/Linux or macOS?

        • That requires an expensive Windows license to do legally. The Windows license that came with the machine won't suffice; it only covers running Windows on the machine's bare metal, not in a VM. For that you have to buy a FULL RETAIL license, not an OEM (also known as System Builder for a while) copy.
          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            If Anonymous Coward #55287393 is unwilling to pay $120 for Edge, then he or she really doesn't want Edge that badly.

      • It way more likely that MS will create their own Linux Distro first.

      • I've been testing the Firefox beta and I have to say -- once NoScript is available for it (and assuming that it didn't have to lose any important functionality for the port), then I'll stay with Firefox.

        However, after testing a bunch of alternatives, I think I've settled on the one that works best for me, should I need it: Waterfox.

    • ""We want Microsoft Edge to be your favorite browser, with the fundamentals you expect -- speed, power efficiency, reliability, security" Ho Ho Ho. I had to spend five minutes retrieving my password just to comment on that quote. Now who on Earth thinks Edge is their favorite browser. Raise your hands. We'll all wait. Meanwhile, I'll check out the new Chrome Beta.
  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Saturday September 30, 2017 @12:28PM (#55283837)

    The API is a massive security hole and can tank the entire browser with ease so they will only allow large companies that they can fight in court to make extensions.

  • Hello,

    It is interesting how concerned Microsoft is about "building a thoughtfully curated ecosystem" with browser extensions that are "high-quality and trustworthy" for Microsoft Edge, while at the same time, its Windows Store offers many poor-quality mobile apps bordering on the scammy (fake browsers meant to look like Google Chrome, pirated copies of books, etc.) for years.

    Of course, Microsoft collects a percentage of sales from Store apps, so maybe it was more to their incentive to have it filled with th

    • fake browsers meant to look like Google Chrome

      I'm pretty sure that Firefox is intended to be a real browser, even if it does a bad job at it.

      • I suppose people think Chrome is a browser and not Google right on your system spying.
        • I suppose people think Chrome is a browser and not Google right on your system spying.

          I suppose that no other software spies on you. If you are using W10, the idea that Chrome is a privacy issue is kinda funny.

          There is no, has been no, and never will be privacy on the internet anyhow., and if you haven't been compromised already, it is just luck. Don't go for the tor meme either, which use just makes you extremely interesting to some folks.

          • "You have zero privacy anyway, get over it." Scott McNealy (then CEO of Sun Microsystems), 1998.
            • "You have zero privacy anyway, get over it." Scott McNealy (then CEO of Sun Microsystems), 1998.

              Pretty much hasn't changed either. If you are on the interwebs, it can be determined who you are. It all depends on how badly someone wants to find you, because it can take an effort. But they even found the Silk Road dude. They make a big deal out of the gumshoe part where they swooped in on him live to snatch his laptop, but they already knew who he was, where he was, and just needed the physical evidence.

              tl;dr version, if you want to do crime, don't do it on the internet.

    • It seems that MS is still stuck behind other companies when it comes to app stores. Whatever excuse they come up with, the real reason is that there are few users therefore few customers. Thus few developers who want to make apps or extensions. And history shows that eventually MS will abandon these systems leaving the developers and users without options. For example the Zune App Store then Windows Phone store, etc. Meanwhile Google and Apple app stores have billions of downloads daily.
  • "We want Microsoft Edge to be your favorite browser"

    I'm reminded of a saying about wanting in one hand, and shitting in the other...

  • by MatthiasF ( 1853064 ) on Saturday September 30, 2017 @01:11PM (#55284021)
    IT HAS SO FEW FEATURES!

    I try using it, just to give it a chance but there's no way to organize bookmarks easily, it has constant problems on popular sites like Flickr and it's hard as hell it find the settings you want to tweak it to something comfortable for your use.

    It's like Microsoft made a browser for speed but then forgot that people need to be able to USE it too!
    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      Does Edge support drag & drop already? It didn't when last I cared to check about a year ago.
      All other browsers support it... including older versions of Internet Explorer!

      • You can drag links in but you can't drag links out. So, if I want to make a URL file, I need to copy/paste into Firefox and drag the address out.

        I'm not asking for much. We're talking 2-3 common, expected features.
    • Haven't you gotten the memo? Programs nowadays must be made with as few features as possible as they confuse users.
  • Or maybe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Saturday September 30, 2017 @01:45PM (#55284203)

    There are no users so extension writers don't give a damn? It explains why a lot of Firefox extensions are rotting away too.

    • The writer for the FF extension I use just updated his. FF is getting quite good now. I use it every day on both macOS and Windows and it does a good job for me. And unlike Chrome and Edge/Cortana, it's not spyware.
      • The writer for the FF extension I use just updated his.

        Congratulations. I'm blowing one of those party whistles for you. Edge also has an extension. What's your point?

  • Who needs plugins when you've got telemetry?

  • they have a long history of having addon capability. no one produces such addons. the most addons that ever appear for Microsoft products include adware, spyware, Trojans, viruses, etc. I've seen this happen to generations of Microsoft products: IE, WMP, etc.

    something about the community of developers, they suck, and go for other solutions instead such as foobar2000, Winamp, Firefox, etc.

    I'm surprised to see 70+ addons for a Microsoft product. O_O

    https://www.trumpsweapon.com/ [trumpsweapon.com]

  • by brxndxn ( 461473 ) on Sunday October 01, 2017 @10:26AM (#55287335)

    Microsoft, you are assholes. You are assholes to the users and you are assholes to web developers. For years, when Internet Explorer was the dominant browser, you had numerous little gimmicks in your 'interpretation' of web standards that made pages appear broken unless developers went out of their way to support Internet Explorer specifically. Now that Internet Explorer is only a relic for corporate IT to continue using outdated software (and thus not doing their job), you create an entirely new browser that fucks the user even harder.

    That browser is called Edge. It is the most worthless browser ever created. It looks like it renders about 50% of web pages in some kind of usable form - but even the intended 'usable' form is a nightmare in UI. Because a few people use Windows 10 as a tablet, you make it work like that for 100% of people. The reason there are no Edge plugins is because there are no Edge users. The only Edge users left are the dumb ones that don't even know they can search 'Chrome', 'Firefox', or 'Opera' and instantly start having a better computing experience. Edge is a half-finished smoldering pile of garbage that makes the user feel like he or she is being controlled.

  • Edge most optimistically, with almost a forced smile, is at most a utility for the enterprise environment. Maybe .. it could be used for in-house browsing where the company can be sure everyone is on the same page. It would enable companies to leave Internet Explorer yet still make use of a built in browser. Elsewise, Edge is so b*tt-ugly, who would use it? It looks like an poor rejected mediocre iPhone app that grew by stuffing its face and forced it's way onto the desktop. IE is much better looking. With
  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Sunday October 01, 2017 @10:54AM (#55287417)

    Seriously, who cares about Edge? If you write a Chrome plugin, it runs on Chrome and a lot of other browsers using the same engine (Vivaldi, for example). And you are not tied to one platform (Windows) either. Even learning how to write an Edge plugin is a waste of time, the market is far too small.

  • It is from a far too untrustworthy company.

  • The reason why I didn't even try to use edge is that every extension must from the Microsoft Store. No thanks. Not touching that thing with a 20 foot pole.

  • by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Sunday October 01, 2017 @11:53AM (#55287641)

    That opens the door for a lot of userscripts.

  • ... why hardly anyone uses Edge.

  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Sunday October 01, 2017 @12:13PM (#55287715) Journal

    I recently switched to Edge from Chrome because I am doing everything I can to step away from Google.

    The only Chrome extension that I use that was not available in Edge is Privacy Badger. I went with Ghostery instead.

    Other than that, they had everything else I use. LastPass. Adblock Plus. etc.

    • This message is so totally not brought to you by Redmond. Nope, no shilling here...

      • by dave562 ( 969951 )

        Hate to break it to you, but I'm not a shill. I have a feeling that we've had this discussion before.

        I guess not going along with group think is enough to be labeled a shill these days.

        • When someone insists they're moving from Google's spyware to Microsoft's spyware because somehow they think they're sticking it to the man, if they're not a shill, then they're just naive, or possibly just an idiot.

          • by dave562 ( 969951 )

            I guess I'm just an idiot then. An idiot who found all of the extensions that I needed for Edge.

    • Google is bad, you want to step way from it. I can understand that. But to Microsoft?

      • by dave562 ( 969951 )

        One browser is the same as any other these days. As other commenters have pointed out, they all have their security flaws. At this point all I care about is making it harder for Google to maintain the profile that they have built on me.

        As for Win10 and being tracked, it doesn't matter anymore. Have any of you guys been paying attention? The NSA has pwnt the entire internet. All of our metadatas are belongs to them. They already know who we are talking to and when we are talking to them. Whether it is

    • by sad_ ( 7868 )

      And firefox isn't an option because... ?

      • by dave562 ( 969951 )

        Edge is getting the job done. Firefox is an option. I was an avid Firefox user before I used Chrome. Maybe I am naïve, but I think Microsoft has a stronger security team than Mozilla does.

  • Sure. How do I install it in my Linux box?
  • The single most awful thing about win 10 is all the crap I have to leave installed because microsoft.

    I don't want edge because it's probably a security threat even if you don't use it. How long before there's an exploit that invokes it even when it's not your default web browser.

    and yet - it appears to be very difficult to remove.

    • Are you kidding me? You surely must have seen the ads inside the freaking OS that promote Edge if you happen to use another browser. If they do that why would they allow you to remove it? Toghether with the other made-for-touch basic included apps Microsoft actively tries to get you to use them.
      It's like Microsoft wants Windows to become Android but they're actually worse since, AFAIK, not even Android promotes its maker's apps with ads originating from the very OS.
  • We have a difficult time getting developers to create them.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Edge is missing basic functionality that has been found in every other browser for the past 10 years (the ability to view a certificate). The Senior Program Manager saying things like "We want Microsoft Edge to be your favorite browser, with the fundamentals you expect". Is the equivalent to somebody telling you they are trying to lose weight while eating an entire gallon of ice cream.

    If you search "Edge view certificate" the answer given by a moderator on technet is basically Open Internet Exp

  • one day, someone will tell me why my browser needs an add-on in the first place. It's been 30 years, and as long as my browser shows the web page, I don't see what else it needs to do. One plug in to open a PDF, but not any other type of file? What good is that?

    Maybe edge needs an add-on to be able to print a selection. That'd be swell. PrintScreen & Paint will do just fine though.

    • Some of us absolutely can't stand the awful defaults of an ugly gray or blue browser with gray or white scrollbars a blindingly bright white background upon which black text is displayed and ads all over the damned place.

      To remedy those situations, we need extensions.

      • No you don't. You can block ads at the network level, and you can change default backgrounds with a user-defined stylesheet.

        Maybe you need extensions because you don't know what your browser already has?

    • It's been 30 years, and as long as my browser shows the web page, I don't see what else it needs to do.

      Using the web without a full complement of tools like Javascript blocking, popup blocking, XSS & clickjack protection, etc. is pretty hellish. It makes huge portions of the web straight-up unusable.

      • The huge portions that I haven't needed in thirty years, and don't expect to need in the next thirty? I seem to be doing pretty well with Slashdot, techreport, duckduckgo, Wikipedia, amazon, ebay, all of my clients, all of my suppliers, and garfield. I block facebook, twitter, and google at the network level, I block ads at the network level, and I don't click on stupid things. I think you're making "scary" sound more complicated than "don't go there". It's not.

        • Sure, I'm with you in that I'm very selective about what sites I go to. But you and I aren't representative of the usual web user at all. For those who are less discriminating, extensions are very important in terms of making the web usable, at least until browsers start incorporating these sorts of defenses natively (which will never happen).

  • ... because no one uses Edge. Even where I work people rather use an old ass IE instead of Edge. Most have chrome or FF for web stuff installed anyway.

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