Microsoft has released a new update to the Edge web browser that includes a new sidebar that allows you to reply to email, use portions of Office, and more.
After confirming that it is in development in advance, the new sidebar is another attempt by the company to distract you from other browsers like Google Chrome, Opera, and more.
As Microsoft explains in blog post (opens in a new tab) for some reason, you can access lots of features like Office files, Outlook email, play games and use useful tools like clock, calculator and dictionary.
You can run it by going to the three dots in the top left corner and it will appear “Show sidebar‘option at the bottom or by pressing Ctrl + Shift + /. You cannot resize, but you have six options to choose from.
The “Discover” feature is welcome because it brings you fun facts, from recipes to movie trivia, as you browse the web. There is also a calculator and other functions instead of reaching for the taskbar.
However, the Office tab leaves much to be desired as clicking on any application launches the website for those in question. The same is true for games, which leads us to wonder what the point of this sidebar is.
It almost alludes to the pop-up bars of older web browsers where you can install a search bar below the address bar. Or if you were to install an application there would be an option to install the toolbar.
The above is an example of how you can install a few, most of which aren’t terribly useful. The sidebar reminds me of this as it’s essentially a link group and some handy tools but not much else.
Microsoft can do better here, rather than trying (and not trying) to play catch-up on other web browsers.