Microsoft Edge to get Web Notifications, Beacon API, and more in 2016


Microsoft today shared some exciting news about its Edge browser which will be coming in 2016. Microsoft Edge will be getting support some much-awaited APIs, including Beacon API, and Web Notifications.

The software giant is planning to release Extensions support for Edge to Windows Insiders “soon”. The company announced that Edge extensions will be available via the Windows Store, which will allow developers to submit and update their extensions for Edge very easily. Additionally, Microsoft’s main focus will be on improving Edge’s accessibility. The company will be focusing on improving Edge’s accessibility system to improve high contrast more, readability, and more:

  • Modernize our accessibility system to support HTML5 and CSS3 on Windows 10.
  • Enable HTML and Core Accessibility API mappings.
  • Provide Accessible Name and Description computation and API mappings.
  • Add accessible HTML5 controls and new semantic elements.
  • Improve high contrast support.
  • Modernize caret browsing and new input modalities.
  • Improve visual impairment readability, focus, and selection.
  • Deliver developer tools for building and testing accessible sites.

Alongside these new exciting features, Microsoft will be continuing to focus on Edge’s performance. Microsoft, is, of course, proud of Edge’s JavaScript benchmark performance — and the company threw some shade while talking about their focus on Edge’s fundamentals for 2016:

  • Lead the industry in JavaScript benchmark performance (good luck catching us).
  • Advance product security across multiple dimensions (lots of surprises coming).
  • Enhance keyboard scrolling performance and interactivity.
  • Isolate Adobe Flash into a separate process and pause unnecessary content.
  • Continue to push the GPU boundaries through native Windows graphics.
  • Improve background tab suspension, timers, and processing.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft already started to add support for some exciting web technologies:

  • ES2016 Modules
  • Fetch API (a component technology of Service Worker; our initial implementation will focus on XHR-style scenarios)
  • Web Notifications (integrated with the Windows 10 Action Center)
  • Beacon API
  • WOFF 2.0
  • High-Resolution Time Level 2
  • Future ECMAScript proposals – Array.prototype.includes, String.prototype.padStart, String.prototype.padEnd, Object.values, Object.entries
  • JS pipeline improvements for future WebAssembly wor

The Web Notifications support will be pretty huge as it will be integrated with the Windows 10 Action Center. This could be very useful for email services such as Outlook or news websites — for example, if you subscribe to get notified about the latest articles from a news website, you will be able to get notifications right on the Windows 10 Action Center. Pretty cool.

The upcoming updates for Microsoft Edge are very exciting. Hopefully, the company will be able to deliver these in time. Nonetheless, tell us what you think about Edge’s upcoming features in the comment section below.

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