Microsoft did everything to get people to use the Edge browser when Windows 10 launched, but in the end it decided to start over with a Chromium base. The move to an open source foundation has been an opportunity for Microsoft to streamline and compete with more modern browsers, but it’s falling more and more into older models. For example, a Redditor reports spotting a new game board in the latest version of Edge Canary. When activated, it adds in-game shortcuts to the address bar, which is surely what everyone expects from a browser.
The games panel can be accessed in appearance settings as a toggle. When activated, Edge gets a new play button in the address bar. It opens a panel on the left side similar to the history or bookmarks pop-up window. Microsoft has filled the panel with a plethora of mediocre HTML5 games, most of them taken from the MSN Games page. There is Solitare, Chess, Sudoku, etc. You can click on any game to load it in the browser.
Since this is only the Canary version, it will likely be a few months before it hits the major builds. And while it’s turned off by default in Canary, that might change when the feature is complete. You might only open Edge one day and have a games button staring you in the face.
It’s not the end of the world to have another button in your browser, although that’s an unnecessary annoyance, and it looks like you can 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 it can be. After all, it comes with the company’s flagship product. And yet, we’ve seen a series of questionable feature additions from Microsoft.
Just a few weeks ago, Microsoft announced the integration of instant loans through a company called Zip. It also made it harder to change default browser settings in Windows 11 (although that’s a rollback on this 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 that most of you don’t use Edge at all, so you’ll never have the chance to be bothered by the in-game panel. Last month, Edge held around four percent of the browser market, just slightly above Firefox. Chrome, meanwhile, sits well with 64% of desktop browsers. I don’t know what it will take for Microsoft to gain traction, but I’d bet these aren’t web games.