For those of you hoping Microsoft’s newest browser Edge becomes the ideal replacement to Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, Microsoft is reassuring consumers that they are committed to making Edge the best tool for browsing the web. Today, the company has revealed upcoming accessibility improvements for the browser– useful for those who depend on assistive technology in Windows 10.
“We’ve made a major step forward with architectural changes in Microsoft Edge, some of which regress experiences compared to Internet Explorer in the short term, but which are in the interest of creating a more inclusive experience for everyone in the long term,” the company stated in an official blog post.
According to Microsoft, the following new accessibility features will be made available to Microsoft Edge in the coming months:
- Better keyboarding and narrator support in major UI elements such as the address bar, settings, favorites, history, and downloads
- Support for semantically tagged PDFs for paragraphs, links, and images including alternative text specified for links and images. PDF improvements also include better keyboarding for links within a document
- Improved Flash accessibility
- Improved ARIA and HTML mapping to UIA
“We recognize Microsoft Edge isn’t where it needs to be to provide a fully accessible browsing experience. Building a new browser required new user experience work in all levels of the product, including accessibility. Windows Insiders and others in the accessibility community have provided valuable feedback which we’re using to prioritize improvements to the accessibility of the browser’s controls and the web itself in Microsoft Edge that will be available in the coming months,” the company explained.
Alongside WebDriver support for automating accessibility API testing, the following improvements to Edge are considered high priority to Microsoft and are longer-term investments:
- HTML Semantic Elements and Narrator Landmark Navigation
- Accessible Name and Description: Computation and API Mappings 1.1
- Improvements to Core Accessibility API Mappings 1.1 (ARIA implementation)
- Improvements to HTML Accessibility API Mappings 1.0 (HTML accessibility implementation)
- Including text in default Narrator navigation
- Improved Tagged PDF support
These improvements are based on your feedback, so continue chiming in! No word from Microsoft on when we might see other improvements to Edge like support for extensions.