For Microsoft Edge to succeed, Microsoft needs to bring it to the Windows Store

April 4, 2017

Windows 10’s default browser, Microsoft Edge, has evolved nicely since it’s initial launch. When you compare today’s Microsoft Edge with Project Spartan (the codename for Edge’s initial preview), you will notice the Edge has matured quite a lot. With the upcoming Creators Update for Windows 10, Microsoft Edge is getting some more new features that will improve the experience for Edge users.

There is, however, a critical problem with Microsoft Edge: it can not be updated via the Windows Store. To add features to Microsoft Edge, Redmond needs to release a new update for the whole OS — similar to how things worked in the early days. With Windows 10, Microsoft made some amazing progress tackling this issue. Almost all of the stock apps in Windows 10 are now on the Windows Store, including Groove Music, Windows Maps, Windows Store, and even the Calculator. What this basically means is that Microsoft can add features or improvements to any of these apps whenever they want which is honestly really convenient — both for Microsoft and Windows 10 users.

[shunno-quote align=”left”]Having to install an entire OS upgrade to get minor new features is simply ridiculious[/shunno-quote]

Microsoft Edge, on the other hand, is not on the Windows Store, which means users have to wait for a major OS upgrade if they want a new feature on the browser. For example, Microsoft is introducing two new tab management features for Edge with the Creators Update — but these two features were quite stable a few months ago. Unfortunately, though, Microsoft is only going to start rolling out these features to users with the Creators Update on April 11 — and this rollout will take months to finish.

[shunno-quote align=”right”]Edge is lagging behind Chrome because of Chrome’s frequent updates[/shunno-quote]

If Microsoft Edge is updatable via the Windows Store, Microsoft would be able to deliver similar features much more quickly to users. In this way, Edge’s features would increase with every update and it will get more powerful in terms of features — just like Google Chrome. Google releases feature updates for Chrome almost every month, adding new features to the browser itself, as well as the rendering engine. Chrome is advancing every month because of how rapidly Google keeps updating the browser.

There is no doubt that Microsoft Edge still lacks quite a lot of features, but I feel like Microsoft would be able to introduce these features much more quickly if they bring Edge to the Windows Store. I mean, it’s pretty ridiculous that you have to wait for a whole new OS upgrade to get the new tab management features. Granted, updating Edge’s rendering engine (EdgeHTML) regularly via the Windows Store wouldn’t be ideal as it could potentially break a lot of things in Windows 10 that might upset Microsoft’s enterprise customers. Keep in mind that EdgeHTML is being used throughout Windows 10, and it’s not only for Microsoft Edge — so regular updates to the rendering engine might break things and that won’t work out too well for Microsoft.

Microsoft announced back in October of last year that the company might bring Edge’s app updates to the Windows Store while the rendering engine would continue to get updated via Windows Update, but it isn’t clear when that is supposed to happen. Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft Edge is a great browser with lots of potential — but Microsoft really needs to bring it to the Windows Store for the browser to succeed.

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