This holiday season is looking like it’ll be almost entirely virtual, thanks to higher-than-ever COVID-19 prevalence and no end in sight. That includes holiday shopping preparations because the idea of being pushed and trampled on Black Friday as we close in on the electronics department is even less appealing than usual.
Microsoft’s latest iteration of its Edge browser is here to help with the impending virtual rush. The updated browser, which is available for download starting today, includes a new coupons feature to help you automatically locate the best cost-cutting deals as you’re completing that last-minute shopping.
“Microsoft Edge is the only browser with built-in tools to help you save time and money while shopping online,” said Liat Ben-Zur, Corporate VP at Microsoft, in a statement about today’s updates.
The feature is similar to those offered by popular Chrome extensions like Honey (which has been downloaded more than 10 million times and was recently acquired by PayPal). Simply browse your favorite shopping sites as you normally would and Edge will alert you if there’s a coupon available for the item you’re interested in. All baked into the browser, no separate tools required.
Deals deals deals — Microsoft knows you’re going to be up late scrolling through gift guides this holiday season. So it’s made the savvy choice to create a built-in online shopping experience unlike anything its competitors are doing.
Besides the new automatic coupon feature, Edge will also help users compare prices across various online retailers to help them find the best possible deal. Simply click the blue price tag icon near a product and Edge will direct you to product pages with better prices.
Microsoft is also launching a Deals Hub today on Bing, a page that’ll automatically update with the latest online deals across the internet. Bing Shopping is separated into curated categories made for easy browsing, just like wandering up and down the aisles at your favorite retailer. Well, almost.
Plus some other goodies — Today’s Edge update has a few treats for you even if you’re not all that interested in online shopping. There’s a new way to take screenshots directly in the browser and mark them up without ever leaving the application, for example; just select “Web capture” from the “…” menu or hit CTRL + Shift + S. You can also highlight and annotate notes directly inside the Edge browser now — a feature you’d think would be available on every browser at this point.
The latest Edge browser, coupled with a few notable updates to Bing, makes Microsoft’s browsing experience more comprehensive than ever before. By including these features directly in the Edge software, Microsoft is offering a meaningful alternative to Chrome’s extension ecosystem — one that’s making consumers’ lives easier at a time when everything generally feels more difficult. Plus, all of Chrome's extensions work in Edge because it uses the same underlying code. It's almost enough to make us forgive and forget the various sins of Internet Explorer.