Microsoft Edge team shares recent changes to Edge, saying it's "Made by you"

When Windows 10 Insider Preview build 11102 was released on Thursday, one of the main complaints was a lack of changelog, and the seemingly unbalanced introduction of bugs with the launch of a single new feature: the ability to right-click on the back and forward buttons in the Edge browser for a jump-list of recently viewed pages - a feature that most browsers have had for many years.

However, Rajkumar Mohanram, Engineering Manager for Microsoft Edge and David Rubino, Senior Software Engineer for Microsoft Edge have now chimed in with an article on the Insider hub, which can be accessed from the Start menu of Insider builds titled 'Made by you - Microsoft Edge Feedback in Windows 10'. In it, Mohanram encourages the use of the feedback app within Edge, and even added a large bolded "Microsoft Edge: Your feedback counts (really, it does)" for emphasis.

So what has changed since Windows 10 build 1511 was introduced last November as a general update to Windows 10? Mohanram has put together a list of some of the changes to Edge starting with the November update and Insider builds since then, something that may appease those that are unhappy with the lack of a changelog, despite the fact Microsoft claims there are over 1200 changes in the most recent 11102 build from the one before it:

  • We made lots of little fixes for crashes, hangs, and slowness issues
  • Favorites and reading list now roam/sync
  • The setting to change the search provider is more discoverable.
  • There is now a "save target as" option to the context menu for hyperlinks
  • We allow import of IE favorites from a favorites location that uses folder redirection
  • Drag and drop support is enabled (the ability to drag files to sites like OneDrive)
  • There is a toolbar in PDF viewer with options to save, print, zoom, and see page numbers
  • There is now an option to prevent rogue sites from spamming dialog boxes in infinite loop causing denial of service
  • We restored the ability to open a new browser window when Microsoft Edge is already running, by choosing Microsoft Edge from Start Menu or by middle-clicking on Microsoft Edge in the taskbar
  • We provided an "Open Folder" option to the download completion notification
  • A menu is shown when you right click on the back button, allowing you to see history and skip back several pages

Some of the above changes to Edge were a direct result of user feedback, and the Edge team outlined in the article how they utilize it by "looking for hot issues in the days immediately after the release of a Windows Insider Preview build, presenting the top trending feedback to the team on a weekly basis" and "making sure we have an issue in our database tracking all feedback with a certain minimum number of votes."

Furthermore, the team also made clear the fact that initial feedback for Microsoft Edge resulted in the return of the 'Home' button in time for general release, as well as an “open folder” button on the prompt that appears when a download is complete for build 1511. These are just two examples of the 'hot issues' feedback that eventually made their way into the browser.

So the lesson here is that the team is listening, and if you want to make a difference to Microsoft Edge, simply start or continue to use the feedback app from within the browser by upvoting existing bug reports or feature requests and adding new, undiscovered ones. The Edge team goes on to say that the "product backlog (a.k.a. “to do” list) is more influenced by user feedback than anything else." While we may not have a clear list of those 1200 changes that made their way into the most recent Insider build, there's enough evidence progress is ongoing and that Microsoft developers are listening.

If you want to get even closer to the Microsoft Edge team, they will be in San Francisco on April 4 2016 for a one day Edge Web Summit, which is free to register. Developers will be able to interact directly with the team that builds Edge, and can learn more about Microsoft's partially open-sourced JavaScript engine, as well as powerful techniques for building accessible sites, and what the company has planned for the year ahead.

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