Would you use Microsoft Edge if it supported your favorite extensions

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 30, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Spartan Edge is a browser in-development that will ship with Windows 10 later this year. In fact, it will replace Internet Explorer as the default web browser on the system.

I looked closely at the browser recently and was able to confirm that Microsoft improved its core considerably especially in comparison to the current version of the company's Internet Explorer browser.

It looks as if Edge will be able to compete with Chrome and Firefox on an eye to eye level performance and compatibility-wise.

The browser has its shortcomings though at this stage in development. There are barely any preferences available to customize it and I'm still not sure if this is by design or a side-effect of the ongoing development process.

It is likely that the latter is true for core features such as restoring closed tabs (which you can do only with a keyboard shortcut currently), saving images (which you cannot do using the right-click context menu), or a general lack of preferences and options to manage cookies or configure the browser to delete browsing data on exit.

There is still time and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft Edge will look like when it ships. I cannot see the browser ship without common browsing features.

Microsoft confirmed during the BUILD 2015 conference that Edge will support extensions but won't ship with support for those when its final version is released.

What may be interesting is that it will support Chrome and Firefox browser extensions according to The Verge.

What we don't know currently is how this support will look like. While it is certainly possible that you can just install Chrome or Firefox extensions directly in Edge, it is unlikely that this is going to be the case.

The more likely option is that Microsoft will make it easy for developers to port extensions to Edge just like it will make it easier for Android and iOS developers to port their applications to Windows.

Microsoft did demo two extensions during BUILD. Once was a version of the highly successful and popular Reddit Enhancement Suite extension for the online discussion site Reddit, the other a translation extension using Bing.

One can only hope that extension support won't be a one-man Microsoft show like it was the case previously in regards to Internet Explorer add-ons.

Would you switch?

Imagine for a while that all of your favorite extensions are available for Edge. Would you use the browser then or even replace your current default browser?

If you ask me, I have to deny that at least for now unless Microsoft makes the browser as customizable as Firefox.

While I love NoScript for Firefox, there are other reasons why I use the browser and one of them is that I can customize Firefox better than any other "major" browser out there.

What about you?

Would you use Microsoft Edge if it supported your favorite extensions
Article Name
Would you use Microsoft Edge if it supported your favorite extensions
If Microsoft Edge would support your favorite extensions, would you use or even switch to the browser?
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  1. Varun said on August 22, 2015 at 8:24 am

    I have been using Edge for quite some time. I must say I’m quite impressed. The browser is really fast and is not jerky at all. The webpage scroll is really smooth(the best I have seen yet).Images load blazingly fast. I would really like to make it my default browser , however I will wait till it gets a good add-on support.

  2. Maou said on May 4, 2015 at 4:44 am

    No way!
    My bookmarks and extensions, are shared between 3 different O.S, I will never switch to the lousy I.E.
    And I rather stick it with Open Source software as much as possible.

  3. chesscanoe said on May 3, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    IE11 is my backup browser under Win7x64 Home, with Chrome my primary browser and Firefox my second backup browser. Under Win10 6-12 months from now, I anticipate Chrome will still be primary, with only Edge my backup browser. This assumes Microsoft will not give highest priority to making Edge tops in speed, security, configurability, and reliability. I hope I’m wrong.

  4. pd said on May 3, 2015 at 6:20 am

    With the way Mozilla is going, I’m astonished to say it, but I’d possibly consider it! I don’t like Chrome and Mozilla is doing it’s best to lose it’s mojo.

  5. b003 said on May 2, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Maybe as a backup. Haven’t had a really good one since Opera went to Chromium.

  6. Womble said on May 1, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    I hate the font rendering on universal apps right now, so as things stand, no.

  7. CHEF-KOCH said on May 1, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    I’ve never got any seriously troubles with the IE Browser myself, there are a lot of haters or fanboys which constantly saying the same stuff, but that won’t apply to all users – so I not care much about such subjective opinions. I will definitely give the Browser a try, the best would be that no browser needs any addon’s but I guess it’s impossible to implement with such different needs. Ms already worked hard on improving there products and started listening to costumers and partners – this was one good step. I hope we can see a lot of more starting with Windows 10 and the new Browser. Since I switched to Firefox (since Opera is now brand under the big Pokeball called Google/Chrome) I’m more focused on the under the hood stuff like the engine, protocols and such instead of the GUI or addons stuff because I think every newer browser more or less offer the same to stay up-to-date and offering features to become more fans.

  8. All Things Firefox said on May 1, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I won’t use Edge as my main browser (nothing can replace Firefox) but I am really glad that it is available. I sometimes have to use IE when a site won’t work with my Firefox configuration so I am happy to have a decent backup browser.

  9. fokka said on May 1, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    for the pure fact that firefox is open source and made by people who care about users and the web and spartan is closed source from microsoft, who have raped web standards in the past, i’ll take firefox over anything from ms any day of the week.

    1. Andrew said on May 1, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      “for the pure fact that firefox is… made by people who care about users and the web”

      Funny…. a lot of people are saying otherwise

  10. Rodalpho said on May 1, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    There is another reason to switch– the touch experience in both chrome and firefox is terrible, and it’s great on IE (and presumably Edge). Forget tablets; many windows laptops come with touchscreens these days, and they are a fantastic control method. Much better than most touchpads.

    1. jonathan said on May 1, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      LOL? Who uses touchscreen in desktop? My monitor is at least 20-30 cm far away from me. If i got a touchscreen i have to stand up touch that goddamn screen ? nah. thats why windows 8 failed.

      1. Rodalpho said on May 1, 2015 at 7:21 pm

        Right, I did specifically say laptops.

        I thought touchscreens were useless on laptops too, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. They work great.

      2. Andrew said on May 1, 2015 at 6:21 pm

        You did notice he said nothing about desktops, he was talking about laptops, right?

  11. john_rik said on May 1, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    No, never. why you say? My Answer – Firefox is open source! ;)

  12. theMike said on May 1, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    the last time I used IE was a few years ago. It showed up in my start menu for some reason. When I opened it there was nonstop movement and prompts. The MSN homepage was like walking into a busy highway and the set-up prompts were worse than any malware. Before I even had the chance to use IE I had to closed it out. It was insane

    1. Andrew said on May 1, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      I feel you on the prompts, it’s like the only browser that has you set it up before you can use it. Luckily it’s a one time thing, but as someone who tends to reinstall OSs on virtual machines a lot, the prompts to set up IE gets kind of old.

    2. Pierre said on May 1, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      @TheMike : and… how many years ago was it and with what version ?
      I assure you that current IE11 is a very good browser, fast, secure and pleasant.
      Of course everyone has his preferences…

      1. theMike said on May 2, 2015 at 12:15 am

        I have no idea what the version number was, I don’t keep up with the latest updated software I don’t use. I did just try it, went through all the set up prompts, signed in, set the home screen to about:blank, and added the only add-on not suggested, WOT. It added a toolbar. A toolbar for one mediocre add-on? took up the entire top of the browser. If the new IE can support real add-ons without an additional toolbar or some other major F-Up it will always be just IE and nothing more. But it was quick…

  13. Pierre said on May 1, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I am looking for performance more than extensions : I eliminate extensions that slow down the browser.
    In M. Edge I wish there were a built-in adblocker as in recent IE (“protection against tracking”, an euphemism)

  14. Wayfarer said on May 1, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve always held – albeit a simplification – that MS and Google software is produced to help advertisers reach you and track you, and Mozilla and other open-source software is there to stop them…

  15. Tom Hawack said on May 1, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    No religion here when it comes to anything else that spiritualism, hence purely pragmatic with a browser. I’ve always chosen the navigator closest to my tastes. At this time it is Mozilla’s Firefox. Should Microsoft’s Edge (ex-future Spartan!) thrill me like nobody that I’d change flat tomorrow! Firefox’s face after the Australis plastic surgery was demolished, but the lady has many talents when Microsoft’s daughters have proven to be limited. If Edge appears to be an exception in the family I certainly won’t remained blocked on protocol issues, i’m tellin’ ya :)

  16. Rott Weiller said on May 1, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Spartan is as fast as Chrome at this moment only because it has no extensions

    firefox (2+ years ago when i was still using it daily ) was fast without extensions but after i added 5-7 extensions that i needed it started to lagg like hell ( abp, noscript, downloadhelper, and few more) on my computer q6600/6Gb ram/ gtx 650/ which was not a weak computer.

    spartan was tested on my new computer where it opens instantly, just like chrome (which has 12 extensions active including abp) i7-4790k/16gb/no ssd :), but i had to remove w10 because of a nasty issue with the way hdd were spin off (with all the check points set to NEVER) ;( if the issue is in fact a new feature that can`t be disabled i will remain on w7 even if w10 is very fast at this moment

  17. ilev said on May 1, 2015 at 8:07 am

    The answer is NO. I will continue to use the original, Chrome.

  18. MikeFromMarkham said on May 1, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I’m trying to like Spartan/Edge, but it isn’t easy. When it opens (which is about half the time on my backup/test PC), and when it doesn’t crash when more than 2 tabs are open, the best thing I can say about it is it seems to be fast. Beyond that, I’ve got a whole bunch of concerns. To start with, where are all the options I like to set myself such as privacy settings, cookie settings, choosing a default search engine, etc? These seem to be completely lacking in what I’ve seen of this browser so far. As for the look and feel of it, Spartan/Edge seems very unfinished and almost juvenile in appearance to me, definitely not ready for prime time. As it stands now, adding Chrome and Firefox extensions to it strikes me as just putting lipstick on a pig. I’m definitely going to wait till Windows 10 – and by extension, Edge – has been in release for at least 6 months before I even consider replacing the Windows 8.1 I have installed as the primary OS on my backup PC or my Stream 7 tablet. If I take that step, I will live with Win10 for at least a couple of months before I decide to keep it or roll back to Windows 8.1 on those machines. Under no circumstances will I be replacing Windows 7 on my workhorse desktop computer.

  19. Jeff said on May 1, 2015 at 4:17 am

    You know what else supports Chrome & Firefox extensions?

    Chrome … and Firefox.

    Edge will need to provide *reasons* to switch from something that works well, is very established, and isn’t broken. I think Vivaldi has more potential to be enticing to power users in the long run.

  20. marc klink said on May 1, 2015 at 3:50 am

    I’d probably not use it, unless it has some better looking graphics than what is shown above. The “child of five, scribbling instructions” interface is not for me at all.

    Also, just based upon history, I’ve not liked a single version of Internet Exploder, and only used them when absolutely necessary. I remember using Mosaic …er, that is Internet Exploder 1, and then seeing Netscape. I thought I was in heaven whenI did not have to return to the top of the screen to “go back”, but could pop up a right click menu. IE did not have that, and was always more difficult to work with. It was somewhat like using old MacOS software, that was so intuitive you needed almost no directions, versus the usual difficulties encountered with DOS software, and the million ways to do things, not one which was actually intuitive.

    It has only gotten worse over the years…once they fixed the snail pace of its workings, they further screwed up the UI…

  21. Jim said on May 1, 2015 at 3:16 am

    No, not even if it were the best browser out there. I’m not in the “Anything But Microsoft” camp on most things, but I am when it comes to the web browser. I’m not going to knowingly help them get into a position of IE6 again. They’re sitting on 90+ percent of the desktop OS market, I can’t believe any person (or company) out there would not revert back to the Microsoft of old if they had 90+ percent of the web browser market.

    Currently Chrome fits my needs, mostly because of the multiple platforms it supports and syncs on. I could switch to Firefox without much effort.

    1. Jeff said on May 1, 2015 at 4:21 am

      That’s a very good point about the IE6, 90% thing. But MS would have us believe that that was the ‘old guard’, and that they have new management now, and a new way of doing things. They claim they are innovating now, rather than copying and following. Time will tell. The new Hologram thing does look amazing, but we’ll have to see if they are really going to change how they do things.

  22. loki said on May 1, 2015 at 2:24 am

    I’ll never, but never trust MS (from privacy p.o.v.) unless it will open the sources.

  23. Dwight Stegall said on May 1, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Not until you can backup the profile, use bookmarklets, and has a decent bookmarks manager. Then it would be a secondary browser. I have uninstalled Silverlight and did not install any plugins. I block third-party cookies in Chrome. Superantispyware says it can’t find any malware. If Edge can match that then maybe.

  24. DonGateley said on May 1, 2015 at 12:33 am

    That’s a big if. Were it actual I’d shift from FireFox because its extensions (primarily Session Manager) are all that keeps me with it. On a day in, day out basis Firefox presents me with way too much pain, hangs, and unreliability. So, yes, I’d certainly give it a chance.

  25. Tim said on April 30, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    In answer to your question “Would you switch?”, from what I’ve seen of Spartan/Edge so far, I think I’ll probably stay with Internet Explorer 11. Since IE9, it’s been pretty good and does pretty much everything I want it to do. The only exception was an old router I used to use, where I had to use Firefox to access the admin pages, but I’ve changed routers since then.

    The problem with Spartan/Edge is that they’ve introduced things I have no need for, such as being able to draw on webpages. Now, this isn’t necessarily a problem in itself, but it seems to come at the expense of things that I do use all the time such as RSS feeds, Search Providers, Tracking Protection Lists, etc. So, although I have nothing against Spartan, at the moment it seems that maybe it’s a bit feature lacking in comparison. So my reason for not using it would be purely due to the removal of things I use daily, but of course I’ll wait until it’s RTM and then play around with it to see just exactly what’s missing.

  26. Jupster said on April 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Looks very promising so far, so would happily switch away from Chrome, with Firefox acting as a second browser.

  27. YB said on April 30, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Possibly, but we shall see. I like what Microsoft has done with Edge and Windows 10 but I will probably hold on to using Firefox in the long run. Firefox just has to many add-ons and customizations for it and I have spent years making Firefox my own to switch to something new, hence the reason why I won’t even go near Chrome.

  28. Rodalpho said on April 30, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Firefox extensions are extremely unlikely. I expect to see Chrome extensions working, and only Chrome extensions.

    If it supports mouse gestures like Firefox’s Firegestures addon somehow, sure, I can imagine switching. But since Chrome itself doesn’t even come vaguely close to this, I find it very doubtful.

  29. David said on April 30, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    It’s not just about extensions, it’s about control – like turning things off. If the extensions have the power that Fx extensions have, then maybe. But they won’t and the niche-but-awesome features available to Fx users won’t be available for years, if ever. For example UnMHT is unrivaled by any other tool for any other browser. Same for Zotero.

  30. Andrew said on April 30, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Currently use chrome merely for syncing, Gladly try edge when it’s complete, actually looking forward to it. I think there’s a nostalgic part of me that’s been waiting for microsoft to “bring me back” to their browser since dropping them in IE6 (and the UI of 7-11 kept me away, ugly as sin imo).

    That being said, Firefox has been nothing but a disappointment to me lately, to where I gave up on them. If I want gecko, i’ll use Palemoon. Chrome is okay, my primary browser, although I am still moving away from google, it makes it easy to sync passwords on my home computer, work computer, and phone.

    All and all, I want to see Edge and Vivaldi succeed. I can see Vivaldi become my browser of choice and maybe even edge with cortana integration, that’s a big selling point for me.

  31. Kieran said on April 30, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Yup, at least try it out if there were extensions such as LastPass as a minimum. Without that it is difficult to even try out.
    I think that many of us are ready for a switch to something to Microsoft may have gotten the timing right if Edge is low on memory use.

  32. Decent60 said on April 30, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Wouldn’t switch. Microsoft had decades to fix problems with internet explorer and the just now did something about it (and no, just because they made different versions, doesn’t mean they did anything about; many problem still existed with the “updates” )

    1. Tim said on April 30, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      I gather you’re talking about IE11, giving that it’s their most recent version. I’m interested to know what problems you’re experiencing exactly?

      1. ilev said on May 1, 2015 at 8:12 am

        IE11 can’t be installed at all on my Windows 7 64bit sp1 Lenovo Thinkpad as IE11 (and probably Edge) doesn’t support my hybrid graphic card. So no Windows 10 for me.

      2. Decent60 said on April 30, 2015 at 11:39 pm

        Actually I was talking about Internet Explorer as a whole (thus the decades part). More specifically where they still had vulnerabilities that existed with previous version that were never fixed with the “updates”.
        While others have had some similar issues, Micro$oft has the funds and a department for this sort of thing. There is no reason why they were fixed much, much sooner.

        This is just a more convenient listing of some of them:

        There is still many that exist today from IE8 that affected IE11.

        In this article:
        Only browser affected by that vulnerability was IE11 on my system and the work-around was a bit harsh that it disallowed me to connect to my work’s VPN (I only patched it because I still had IE on my system; I hardly use it)

      3. Andrew said on April 30, 2015 at 10:52 pm

        same here, i’d like to know what problems… web standards are pretty top notch in IE 11

  33. Clayton said on April 30, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I am waiting on Vivaldi, the current preview is getting closer to running add-ons from both Chrome and Firefox. As a windows phone user with only IE available, (sucks sucks SUCKS) Edge is going to have to be a WHOLE lot better than IE before I will be *willingly* using it anywhere. Did I mention that IE sucks?

  34. br0adband said on April 30, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Honestly, no, I wouldn’t. It’s not Firefox, it’ll never be Firefox, it’ll never ever offer the customization capability I have (and make use of for a very long time now) with Firefox, and… well, it just ain’t Firefox. :)

    I can’t find one compelling reason to even consider Windows 10 so far and I’ve wasted time (and bandwidth) downloading every publicly available build that Microsoft has released so far. Yes, I grabbed 10074 yesterday and installed it, 15 mins and I was done. I just can’t tolerate it, at all to any degree whatsoever.

    I’ll be running Windows 7 for many many more years it seems… been a Windows user since before Windows 1.0 was even public knowledge but Windows 7 just did everything right. I’m saddened at how Microsoft totally dropped it like the proverbial red-headed stepchild but, they did and that’s that.

    But Windows 10… not even if it’s free (which it will be and it still won’t matter). :D

    1. nik said on May 1, 2015 at 12:30 am


      Plus, it’s still a single-platform browser. I’d like to be able to move my profile between platforms and I really can’t see Microsoft making an Android or Linux versions of the browser.

    2. Xi said on April 30, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      +1+1………… infinity
      You’ve shared the same feelings which I have upon Win10. However, there is a small difference. I’ve not tried any of Win10 builds.

      The least MS could’ve done is added older version UI+looks as themes and let the users choose their type of Start Menu [Windows 7 Start Menu and Win10 Start Menu]. Also, they should’ve used the same Win 7 icons in Win10 or something better. This could’ve impressed basic users and some pro users as well.

  35. Naveed said on April 30, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    I don’t know if I would switch, but I’d consider it if it had my extensions

  36. rswrc said on April 30, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Show me the developer tools …

    1. Decent60 said on April 30, 2015 at 11:19 pm


      Standard tools but it opens in a new window (dislike) but provides same over-all functionality

    2. Tim said on April 30, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      Here you go…

      What’s New in F12 for “Project Spartan”:

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