Windows 10: Extensions for Edge to arrive with Redstone in 2016

Zac Bowden

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is an interesting browser, simply because it’s missing a rather hefty amount of vital features for people to want to make the switch from Chrome or Firefox. One feature that should have been there on day one but wasn’t, are extensions. Extensions are one of the main reasons people aren’t switching over to Edge, and now it appears users waiting to make the switch are going to have to wait a little longer.
Microsoft initially stated that extensions for Edge would arrive with an update “later this year”, but according to my contacts, there are no other feature updates after Threshold 2 that are scheduled for the end of this year. Extensions are yet to show up in the main development branch for Threshold 2 as well, and Microsoft still hasn’t started asking developers to port their extensions from other web browsers. With only two weeks left before Threshold 2 RTMs, there’s simply no time for Microsoft to ready extensions for Edge. So Instead, I hear Microsoft is planning to rollout the feature in 2016 with the first wave of Redstone updates in the summer.
Insiders will likely get to mess with extensions before the summer however, as the Insider Program will likely begin receiving new Redstone builds way before RTM is released to the public. Microsoft will want developers and insiders to test (and develop) extensions within Edge, so when the update launches consumers will already have a number of extensions available for the browser. For those who don’t know, Microsoft is working on a bridge to allow extensions developed for Chrome to be easily ported to Edge with little to no code changes, much like the Project Astoria bridge.
We asked Microsoft for a comment, but provided us with a rather vanilla response:

“We are bringing support for extensions to Microsoft Edge in a future update. Developers who build extensions for other modern browsers using common Web technologies like JavaScript and HTML, will work with Microsoft Edge with little or no code changes.”

Microsoft is still committed to delivering extensions for Edge, but with the feature now several months away, will consumers care by the time they arrive? Once they’re available, Windows 10 will be over a year old. Insiders will get to play with extensions much sooner than that of course, but Insiders are not an accurate representation of the people who use Windows 10 day-to-day, and at this point we don’t know when Microsoft is planning to begin delivering Redstone builds for testing. Perhaps in early 2016, or if we’re lucky, towards the end of this year.