Microsoft to bring sidebar search, new work-related search page to Chromium-based Edge

Microsoft is going to start moving all Windows 10 users (minus Enterprise and Education) to the new Edge browser over the next few weeks. It's also continuing to add new consumer and work features to Chredge.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft still has not started automatically rolling out its new Chromium-based Edge browser to mainstream Windows users. But it's still forging ahead with new waves of features for the "Chredge" browser, as officials outlined at Build 2020 on May 19.

Microsoft officials are now saying that it will be upgrading automatically all Windows 10 customers -- minus Enterprise and Education users -- to the new Edge "over the course of the next few weeks" in a staggered way. Microsoft made the first release of the Stable channel (Edge 79) available to "seekers" in mid-January. At that time, Microsoft officials said they were planning to begin rolling out the new Edge via Windows Update starting six to eight weeks from that date. Since then, Microsoft has continued to update its Stable, Beta and Dev channels regularly with more new features and fixes.

Microsoft is going to add a new option to Chromium-based Edge called "sidebar search," officials said today. By highlighting a word or phrase and right-clicking to select "search in sidebar," users will be able to see results in a pane on the side of the page. This is meant to be an alternative to having to go to a new tab to search. For users who are signed in with Azure Active Directory, company results also will show up when doing sidebar search. Microsoft officials said this feature will show up in preview builds of Chredge "in the coming weeks."

Speaking of work-related searches, Microsoft also is adding a new Bing WORK results page to Bing results pages for all Microsoft 365 users when they're signed into their work accounts (and when this capability is enabled by administrators).

The WORK results come from Microsoft Search, the company's unified search capability, plus the Microsoft Graph API. The WORK page will provide work-specific results relevant to a user's query from across Microsoft 365 content. The results will include files, people, and internal web sites, as well as Power BI dashboards (coming in June) and reports, officials said. The WORK page is located just below the main search bar next to ALL. The WORK results page is now generally available.

Microsoft also will be rolling out this month an update to Edge Add-ons which will provide new categories, new search capabilities, and a new layout starting this month. The Edge team is also adding new capabilities to the Collections feature in the browser. Integration with Pinterest will enable users to export their collections to Pinterest so that saved pages and images will show up in a new board in a user's Pinterest account. Collections also will be getting the ability to send saved Collections to OneNote, the same way users can send to Excel and Word today. Both the Pinterest and Send to OneNote capabilities will come to Insiders within a week or so, officials said.

Business users are going to get the ability to sync on-premises; the Automatic Profile Switching feature, which prompts users to switch to a work profile if they're trying to open a link requiring work credentials from their personal profile; and Windows Information Protection, which adds an additional layer of content protection. Some of these capabilities will be available in preview during Build this week.

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