Microsoft is testing a new feature for its Web browser Edge which introduces closer integration with its Microsoft 365 Following productivity apps.
As stated in a Publish on the Microsoft Edge subreddit, the latest early access version includes a new option that allows users to jump right into the web Word, power point and Excel documents.
To access the feature, users can right-click on an open browser tab and select the “New Office Tab” option from the context menu.
Currently, Office integration is only available to members of the Microsoft Edge Insider Canary channel, who have chosen to receive the most experimental features as soon as possible. Even then, reports suggest that only a portion of the Canary Islands members had access.
Assuming no major issues were encountered during testing, however, the functionality should be rolled out to all users soon enough.
Office in Microsoft Edge
Although the latest market share figures show that Edge is still a long way from the market leader Google Chrome, or even Apple’s Safari, the new Office integration will act as an additional incentive for Microsoft 365 customers (of whom there are several million) to make the switch .
The rise in remote work also put a new emphasis on the web office software, which facilitates real time collaboration between employees who can no longer consult in person.
As such, while the new Edge feature probably falls into the nice category, easy access to the web versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel will be attractive to many users. And in the future, there is no reason that the option cannot be extended to also include other Microsoft 365 services, such as OneDrive, Outlook, Teams and more.
With few remaining Internet Explorer and Edge Legacy users to channel to Edge, Microsoft will have to figure out how to steer people away from other major browsers if its service is to continue to grow. A new Office integration could at least help achieve this goal.
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