Microsoft Edge has been the top alternative to Google‘s Chrome for some time because of its Chromium codebase. Chrome is still the leader when it comes to overall users and popularity and it seems Microsoft is not happy with that. The company’s idea of taking the crown is to add as many features as possible to Edge, to the point where its own userbase is starting to think this is more bloat than convenience.
After recently adding a literal Math Solver, the developers are ready to experiment once again. In an attempt to perhaps cater to the Opera GX community and make Microsoft Edge even more universalistic, Microsoft is seemingly adding a full-on Games panel to the browser in the coming releases. Reddit user and popular Windows Insider, u/Leopeva64-2 has pointed out that in the most recent build of Edge Canary, a Games panel lives inside the toolbar.
The Games panel is part of the Appearance options in Settings and therefore can be turned off or on depending on your likeness. Once turned on, though, a small controller icon appears in your toolbar, next to the address bar and extensions. Upon clicking this icon, a panel opens up showing off mostly classic Microsoft and MSN games, like Solitaire.
The games are properly categorized into different categories such as Arcade, Action, and Match 3. There are less than 100 games in total and most of them are from MSN Games. Clicking on any game will open it right in the browser without needing to download it. The games seem to pretty basic and several of them are basically reskins of each other with slight variations.
On Edge Canary Version 99.0.1117.0, I personally don’t have the Games option yet in Appearance which means that this option is being rolled out to only certain Insiders and if successful, will make its way over to an official release. It’s unclear when this feature will come to the Stable Channel, if at all, but when it does become official, you can bet it will be quite the controversial addition.
While there isn’t any apparent issue with a feature like this, these novelty features are often necessary and add to the total weight of the browser which can make it feel slow or resource-heavy. What started out as a genuine USP for Edge is now starting to feel like oversaturation as the company is desperately trying to cater to every single userbase possible by adding feature after feature every update.