The latest build of Windows 10 shipped to Windows Insiders in the fast ring today. Build 14342 has a number of new additions, many of which relate to the Edge browser. One of the biggest changes is the upgrade to extensions.
While extensions were introduced a few builds ago, as we head closer towards the anniversary update, the extensions platform in Edge is maturing. Extensions are now being distributed to the Windows Store, with Ad Block Plus being the first example. Installing extensions through the powerful store platform is stark improvement over the previous experience that had users download a .zip file from the web, then manually load the extension into the browser.
Right now when you the ‘Get extensions from the Store’ link takes you to a web page to browse available extensions, with links to download them from the Store. I’d expect that middle step to be removed in the future and have the Extension link in Edge take you directly to a section of the Store where you can browse and download from the Store app.
Edge also got swipe gesture support on touchscreens, adding back a feature we first got in the Metro version of IE in Windows 8. An important change that web developers should be aware of is websites can now push notifications to users. Previously the domain of apps, Microsoft Edge now supports real-time web notifications. With permission, participating websites can now send notifications to you via Action Centre.
The example Microsoft provides is when your friend sends you a message on Skype for Web while you’re busy in the Xbox app, you won’t miss a thing. A notification from the website will appear in Windows, just like an app might send. Click on the notification and you’ll be right back in Microsoft Edge at the site that sent it. As long as the permissions for sites is easy to control, this sounds like good integration between the browser and the OS that ultimately benefits users.
You can read more about this latest Windows Insider build over at Building Windows blog.