More than a year ago, Microsoft added support for extensions to its Microsoft Edge browser in Windows 10. Extensions support on Microsoft Edge has been a work in progress since its initial launch, however.
Because of this, Microsoft Edge, unfortunately, doesn’t have a lot of extensions as of yet. The browser only has a total of 70 extensions, mainly the big names like AdBlock, uBlock, Ghostery, LastPass, and more. You’d think the browser would at least have a few thousand extensions by now, but that’s not the case. That’s mainly because Microsoft doesn’t allow developers to submit extensions for Microsoft Edge on the Microsoft Store without getting manual approval. The extensions available for Microsoft Edge right now are effectively hand-picked, and claims to keep these extensions “high-quality.”
Redmond claimed in a blog post today that the company has set a high bar for quality, and is very high on things like security and performance. The company wants to build a “thoughtfully curated ecosystem” for the browser, which basically means that any third-party developer won’t be able to release an extension for Edge on the Microsoft Store unless they get approved by Microsoft.
It’s not clear why exactly Microsoft wants to build a curated ecosystem for extensions on Microsoft Edge and why the browser only has 70 extensions. Users of the browsers would only benefit if there’s a wider range of extensions available for the browser and having access to only 70 extensions is pretty useless. Is it because there’s a lack of interest from developers? Possibly — but Microsoft says there’s “a lot” of interest from devs. Is it because there’s a lack of APIs which is preventing developers from porting their Chrome extensions to Edge? Potentially, but Microsoft says the company will continue to add new APIs to the browser with future updates. The company has a roadmap where you can find out which APIs are currently supported by the browser and the ones that are under development. While Microsoft Edge already supports most of the APIs already, it’s lacking support for some major ones like the Notifications and Permissions APIs.
At this point, it remains to be seen if Microsoft will ever open up the ability to publish extensions on the Microsoft Edge to all developers in the future or if the company will continue to focus on building a curated collection of extensions even after Edge gets all the APIs.