Web select feature on Microsoft Edge is "super-expensive to support," says Redmond

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The talks of the town in the online community have been one thing: Why is Microsoft “deprecating” its tablet-friendly web select feature on the Microsoft Edge browser?

In a recent update on Edge’s stable channel, the browser has removed the Web Select feature in version 117.0.2045.31, released on September 15, 2023, and predicted by Edge insider @Leopeva64 earlier this month.

The feature allowed users to select and copy portions of web pages, including tables, maintaining their original format and functionality.

Microsoft’s Mikhail Parakhin, who oversees the Windows and Web Experiences team, has stated that the feature is being deprecated due to its low usage and high cost of support. However, some users have expressed disappointment with the decision, as they found Web Select to be a valuable tool.

He cites, “A long tail of rare bugs eat a lot of bandwidth.”

The good news is, the insider has also said that this feature can still be summoned back using the –enable-features=msEdgeAreaSelect command line flag and it’s running smoothly on both Edge Stabe and Canary versions. 

Elsewhere in the Edge community, Microsoft was spotted testing Bing Chat integration into Microsoft Launcher beta not too long ago. Plus, the Business version of the browser just rolled out a few weeks ago.

Microsoft Edge is available on Windows and macOS.