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Microsoft brings vertical tabs to Edge 89, announces Bing search improvements

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Microsoft today announced the list of features making it to the browser this month with the release of version 89. The blog is part of the ‘What’s New in Web Experiences’ series of posts that aligns with the release schedule for the stable version of Edge. Most of these features have been present in the Insider channels, so if you’ve been running Canary, Dev, or Beta builds, you might be familiar with most of them. The announcements also contain a bunch of Bing improvements.

Microsoft Edge 89 browser demo showing off the vertical tab layout

The first – and probably the most significant addition – is vertical tabs. The feature was first announced almost a year ago and officially made it to the Dev channel in October last year. Now, vertical tabs is finally becoming available to all users with Edge 89 this month. As the name suggests, the feature lets users switch to a vertical layout for the tab strip and even hide the panel completely, allowing for more real estate for web pages. The layout also makes it easy to differentiate between the tabs thanks to the width of the panel.

This release will also bring the revamped History experience that provides an easily accessible flyout menu that can be accessed via a shortcut in the toolbar, and one that can also be pinned as a permanent panel.

The other significant improvement debuting with Edge 89 in the stable channel is Startup boost. The company says that its tests show that the feature helps increase browser launch times by up to 41% after a reboot or a browser relaunch. This is achieved by launching the browser in the background after a user logs into the device or running it in the background after it is closed, making the application ready for launch even if it isn’t left open. Startup boost will be enabled by default with version 89, though, users can head into the settings and turn it off.

The other area of improvement noted in today’s announcements is Bing, with the most notable additions and enhancements coming to search. The firm is introducing interactive search results, akin to Google Search’s experience, providing users with more information about individual results in a separate pane. There are a few enhancements particularly aimed at making recipe search results more informative. Bing now extracts recipes from web pages and serves them right on the results page, in addition to relevant suggestions and more.

The new search results pane also brings visual search, meaning that it will now provide related content for the search results – including items that look similar to the selected image and options to shop for available items via purchase links. The results carousel is also getting a design refresh and now offers a “hover-over experience” that lets users expand items by hovering over them to see more additional information or descriptions.

Two Bing search results page showing off the new and the old layouts
Left: Old | Right: New

Another interesting improvement to search is the addition of aggregated results. Bing will now pull up information about broad topics and serve it in the form of an infographic in search results, making it easy to get to important stats and more without heading into websites. It also adds Google Search-like News and Videos cards below the short descriptions. For local searches and places, the results page can provide reviews, top images, and even Bing Maps locations in the results. The feature is currently limited to users in the results and will be rolled out in the coming months.

Edge 89 will roll out to all users running the stable version of the browser today, bringing the new vertical tabs experience, startup improvements, and more.

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