One of the main advantages of the upcoming Microsoft Edge web browser that is based on Chromium is that it supports multiple extension stores.
Microsoft Edge users may install extensions from Microsoft's own extensions store for Edge, or enable an option in the web browser to unlock extension installations from the Chrome Web Store as well.
But how different are the extensions designed specifically for Microsoft Edge, and the extensions offered by Google on the Chrome Web Store? Are there any extensions available exclusively that Chrome users cannot install?
I decided to compare the available extensions for the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser that are offered on Microsoft's Edge extensions store with what is being offered on the Chrome Web Store.
The following extensions are unique to Microsoft Edge. Note that alternatives may be available on the Chrome Web Store for some of them.
A total of 14 extensions are exclusive and may be installed in the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser. That leaves 103 extensions that are not unique and also available on the Chrome Web Store.
Some users may wonder why Microsoft bothers with its own extensions store if most extensions are available on the Chrome Web Store as well.
We need to look at the extensions that are unique in more detail to answer that question.
The three main categories are shopping, media downloads, and Enterprise functionality.
Shopping may come as a surprise to many, media downloading not so much. One of the limitations of Chrome extensions is imposed by Google policies. Extensions may not offer functionality to download media from select Google properties such as YouTube.
Microsoft does not impose the same limitations on extension developers (Mozilla, Opera, and other browser makers don't either).
Maintaining an extension store for the Chromium-based Edge browser offers several advantages. It gives Microsoft full control over extensions including its own vetting and verification process. One of the main advantages is that extensions may offer features and options that Chrome extensions don't support in that form.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.