Microsoft Edge extensions on phone only a 'long-term goal' for now

Microsoft Edge aka the Project Spartan browser is due to launch with Windows 10 later this summer. Post-release, it will receive support for third-party extensions later in the year. Developers can easily port over existing extensions from Firefox or Chrome, making Edge a very powerful option for many users.

The question lends itself to asking about Windows Phone. After all, Microsoft Edge is a universal Windows app, so extension support would seem highly likely. However, as it turns out, it is rather nuanced.

In a Q&A #AskMSEdge on Twitter held yesterday, the Microsoft Edge Dev team answered user questions about the new browser. One of the inquired about extensions coming to phone, and this was the team's response:

"It is a long term goal but initial release will be PC only. More constraints like UI real estate, memory, power."

Indeed, extensions are known to use more resources, even on PC where users can add dozens to their browser, weighing it down with even more processes. On a desktop PC though, this is mostly a non-issue when users can have 16 GB of RAM, dedicated GPUs, and high-end multi-core processors. Not to mention dedicated AC power.

On a phone though, all of those things are severely limited. How you reconcile that is the challenge Microsoft is facing, and it will be interesting to see the choices they make in the coming months.

For now though, just know that yes, extensions are planned for the phone. Just do not bet on seeing them anytime soon, possibly not until 2016.

Source: Twitter (@MSEdgeDev)

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.