Microsoft’s Chromium-powered Edge browser will soon include an “Inspiration Stream” of new features and changes that include tweaks to its Collections feature.
Collections, a way to help Edge users collect the web pages they want to visit later, will soon let you add videos and images, as well as share collections with other users.” so that you can collaborate or think together”.
The Inspiration element, which is also rolling out soon, will be “a feed with content related to your search.”
Additions are expected to arrive in the coming weeks and months. Microsoft didn’t specify the version number, saying only that the updates were coming to the desktop version of the browser.
How does Inspiration work? Well, if you add a “search” for motorcycle museums in East Germany to your Collections feed, for example, Edge’s Inspiration feed will suggest related content for you to check out, just like anyone would. which recommendation engine.
“Cool, isn’t it?” said Microsoft Vice President Liat Ben-Zur.
Those who will disagree with this have probably complained that browser trackers more generally become too personal by delivering targeted ads to lure you in by tracking your previous search history. (You can turn off Edge trackers by going to Settings and more > Settings > Privacy, research and services > Tracking prevention. Switch Tracking prevention to On.)
However, you can also argue that if a user uses Collections and a Microsoft account, it’s a good idea for the Windows giant to use their research to come up with suggestions.
Visual search is also on the way, where you can search using an image as well as text. The feature lets you hover over an image (say, a photo of a particularly nice light fixture) and have Edge use its Bing search engine to find ones that look like it.
Finally, Microsoft is also rolling out the ability to track content creators on sites like YouTube and TikTok. Sites such as YouTube already have effective subscription and notification capabilities (and many users instinctively choose the block option when asked if a site can issue notifications), so the usefulness of this functionality is questionable. It also requires a user to be signed in with a Microsoft account.
Microsoft hasn’t revealed how many users are using Edge’s Collections feature (we asked) and the changes are unlikely to lead people to the feature (instead of the arguably more common use of Edge). ‘Edge – download something else to use as a browser).
However, if you’re a Collections fan and aren’t worried about the implications of Microsoft using your research to suggest something to inspire, the features will be welcome. ®