Microsoft did everything it could to get people to use the Edge browser when it launched Windows 10, but in the end, it decided to start over from scratch with a Chromium base. The change to an open source foundation was Microsoft’s chance to streamline and compete with more modern browsers, but it’s increasingly falling into old patterns. Case in point, one Redditor reports having spotted a new gaming panel in the latest Edge Canary build. When activated, it adds game shortcuts to the address bar, which is surely what everyone has been wanting from a browser.
The games panel is accessible in the Appearance settings as a toggle. When enabled, Edge gets a new game button in the address bar. It opens a panel on the left side similar to the history or bookmarks popup. Microsoft has populated the panel with a plethora of mediocre HTML5 games, most of them pulled from the MSN Games page. There’s Solitare, Chess, Sudoku, and so on. You can click any game to load it up in the browser.
As this is only in the Canary build, it will probably be a few months before it’s available in the mainline releases. And while it’s disabled by default in Canary, that could change when the feature is complete. It’s possible you’ll just open Edge one day, and there will be a games button staring you in the face.
It’s not the end of the world to have another button in your browser, even if it’s an unnecessary annoyance, and it looks like you’ll be able to turn it off. However, it makes you wonder about Microsoft’s priorities. In an ideal world, Microsoft’s only motivation should be to make Edge the best browser possible. After all, it ships with the company’s flagship product. And yet, we’ve seen a string of questionable feature additions from Microsoft.
Just a few weeks ago, Microsoft announced the integration of instant loans via a company called Zip. It has also made it harder the change the browser defaults in Windows 11 (though it’s backtracking on that one). Along the way, Microsoft has also resumed its campaign to convince people not to download Chrome, but the warnings ring even more hollow now that both browsers use the same base code.
The good news for people reading this is most of you aren’t using Edge at all, so you’ll never have a chance to be annoyed by the game panel. As of last month, Edge owned about four percent of the browser market, just a bit above Firefox. Chrome, meanwhile, is sitting pretty with 64 percent of desktop browsers. I don’t know what it’ll take for Microsoft to gain ground, but I’d wager it’s not web games.
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