Microsoft has released a new update to its Edge browser, which includes a new sidebar, allowing you to reply to emails, use parts of the Office suite, and more.
After being previously confirmed as in development, the new sidebar is another attempt by the company to steer it away from other browsers such as Google Chrome, Opera and others.
As Microsoft explains in a blog post, (opens in new tab) you can access various resources like Office files, your Outlook email, play games and access useful tools like a clock, a calculator and a dictionary for some reason.
You can start it by going to the three dots in the upper left corner and there will be a ‘show sidebar‘ option at the bottom or by pressing Control + Shift + /. You can’t resize it, but you have six options, ready to choose from.
The ‘Discover’ feature is welcome enough where it will give you some trivia as you browse the web, from recipes to movie trivia. There’s also the calculator and other functions instead of you going to the taskbar.
However, the Office tab leaves a lot to be desired as clicking on any of the apps launches the webpage for those in question. This is also true for the Games, leading us to wonder what the purpose of this sidebar is.
It almost harks back to the popup bars of older web browsers where you could install a search engine bar below the address bar. Or if you installed an application, there would be the option to install a toolbar.
The above is an example of how you can install a bunch, with most not being very useful. The sidebar reminds me of that, essentially being a group of links and some useful utilities, but not much else.
Microsoft can do better here, rather than trying (and failing) to keep up with other web browsers.