After the Insider release of Chromium Microsoft Edge yesterday, Microsoft has opened its addon site to all. The website launch marks a shift away from Store-centric browser, focusing on ease of use across multiple OSes.
However, it's a move Windows 10 users will also be happy with. It makes far more sense to hold browser addons in the actual browser, while forgoing the slowdowns of the Microsoft Store app.
The site functions much the same as the Google Chrome Web Store, letting users browse through a number of categories and simply click ‘Get'. Addons download and install very quickly with no need for a restart.
Unfortunately, the store is still missing a very major feature: search. For now, users have to hunt through individual categories for the extension they want. This is obviously not ideal and will hopefully be remedied soon. The site is yet to be indexed by search engines, so you'll also be unable to use ‘site:' tricks for the time being.
That said, users can also install Chrome addons, which do support search. To do so, simply visit the Web Store and accept the prompt. These aren't optimized specifically for Edge, but they'll get the job done.
Chromium Edge Insider Rings
Users who want the latest improvements as soon as possible can switch to the Canary channel of Chromium Edge. This will give daily builds and is likely to surface more bugs. The dev channel will have weekly tested builds, and the beta will offer a much more stable experience when it releases.
At Winbuzzer, we've been testing Chromium Edge since builds leaked last month. Some of us are now using it as a default browser, which speaks a lot to its speed and stability. The browser appears to use fewer system resources than Chrome while integrating better with Microsoft services and fitting better with the Windows design.
Essentially, new Windows 10 users will no longer feel the need to immediately download Chrome. Edge will have the same addon support and speed, won't run into rendering issues, and will even implement things like smooth scrolling and caret browsing. You can grab a build yourself from the Edge Insider site.