Even though Microsoft Edge has come bundled with Windows 10 since the launch of the OS, the browser has been struggling to gain market share. One of the main reasons for this is that it only supports a handful of extensions, including AdBlock, Amazon Assistant, Office Online, LastPass, Pinterest Save Button, and Grammarly. In contrast, Google Chrome supports thousands of extensions.
As such, Microsoft has published a blog post detailing why the list of supported extensions in Edge is growing ever so slowly.
According to the company, it is building a carefully curated ecosystem with a "high bar for quality", which essentially means that its engineers laboriously test the impacts of enabling an extension on the performance and security of its browser. Microsoft has stated that it wants Edge to be your favorite browser, going on to say that:
We are extremely sensitive to the potential impact of extensions on your browsing experience and want to make sure that the extensions we do allow are high-quality and trustworthy. We want Microsoft Edge to be your favorite browser, with the fundamentals you expect – speed, power efficiency, reliability, security. Poorly written or even malicious add-ons for browsers remain a potential source of privacy, security, reliability and performance issues, even today. We want users to be confident that they can trust extensions in Microsoft to operate as expected. As such, we continue to evaluate each extension submission to ensure that it will bring value to our users and support our goals for a healthy ecosystem.
Microsoft has also explained that over the past year, it has focused more on improving the APIs, Bookmarks, and Native Messaging, rather than adding new extensions at breakneck speed. The company says that some Insider Preview builds also hamper with the functionalities of extensions, and as such, Microsoft carefully studies the data obtained through testing by Insiders in order to ensure the reliability of its extensions platform.
Microsoft states that moving forward, it will continue to work with developers and Insiders to bring more extensions to its Edge browser as it works on additional API support as well.