Microsoft is trying to boost Bing traffic by rolling out a new sidebar menu on Edge in the Canary Channel that lets you search its engine

If you haven’t used Bing lately, the upcoming update to Microsoft Edge will bring the tech giant’s search engine to the fore in an all-new sidebar menu.

Microsoft Edge’s new sidebar menu is now rolling out to a few users in the browser’s Canary channel, allowing people to perform their web searches on Bing without opening a new tab, access tools like the calculator, and read Outlook emails and browse MSN games without leaving the current page.

Edge’s new sidebar is similar to Vivaldi’s web panel and is especially useful when you need to perform a quick task but don’t want to open a new tab or separate window. For example, you might want to launch Windows Calculator and do a quick calculation or check your internet speed when a particular website is not responding.

While you can send an email, use a calculator, convert a variety of units, and even test your internet speed, with Discover (a new way to discover web results related to website content) in the Edge sidebar menu, you should note that you can’t play games because it will open in a tab New tab. This is also the case with Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Likewise, when you read a page, you may also need to send emails related to what you are reading. The sidebar also comes with Outlook integration, so you can easily jot down bullet points in mail and send emails without leaving the current page or browser tab.

Microsoft Edge also has an exciting new option that lets you add your favorite sites to the sidebar to perform actions in context without interrupting your flow. However, many sites aren’t really optimized to work in a small screen area, so Edge’s sidebar’s custom site feature isn’t always useful.

Pre-installed apps?

Some people may call the new bloatware in the Edge sidebar, but the feature is completely optional and you can hide it from the main browser menu. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shit + / to enable or disable the sidebar, or you can enable it from the settings page.

This new sidebar is currently being rolled out to select users only, so only certain people can access the functionality. To use it, make sure you have the latest version of Edge’s Canary, then find the new “Sidebar” option in the list and select it to launch it on the right side of your browser.

You can also activate the sidebar by pressing Ctrl + Shift + / at the same time.

Microsoft Edge explores YouTube integration and the Discover tab on Windows

Microsoft Edge is getting more and more features almost every month, and one of the latest features is YouTube integration. The YouTube panel appears to be part of the company’s effort to integrate an RSS feed into the browser and the content will appear in the Microsoft Edge Groups pane.

Specifically, Microsoft is working on a feature that will allow you to follow your favorite content creators using Chromium Edge. This will allow users to access YouTube content with just one click. The new YouTube Follow button, which will be added directly to the YouTube URL address bar, will provide easy access to videos.

Microsoft does A/B testing of YouTube integration in Edge and not everyone can try it out, but if you want to shoot it, download and launch Edge Canary. The feature appears to be enabled by default and users can try it out simply by visiting YouTube channels. As a reminder, A/B testing (or A/B testing) is a marketing technique that consists in presenting several variants of the same object that differ according to a single criterion (for example, the color of the packaging) in order to determine which version gives the best results with consumers. This technology is particularly used in Internet communication where it is now possible to test multiple versions of the same web page, same mobile application, same email or banner ad in order to choose the most effective and use them widely.

As we mentioned at the beginning, the Microsoft Edge YouTube feature appears to be based on the upcoming RSS feed integration. Microsoft is trying to add RSS feeds for followable calls to the list of groups and this will allow users to follow websites that contain an RSS feed.

When you follow a creator or website on YouTube, Microsoft Edge provides an organized list of the latest updates in the Collections pane. The Groups tab will still appear on the right side of the browser, but you’ll need to add a YouTube site or channel to the list before you can access the broadcast.

An RSS feed or YouTube feature is published in Microsoft Edge to select users, so don’t worry if you don’t see the Enhanced Groups experience.

Microsoft Edge Discover tab

In addition to the RSS feed integration, it appears that Microsoft is also experimenting with a new Discover tab. Unlike the Discover tab in Google Chrome, the Discover tab in Microsoft Edge will allow you to discover similar sites and content through Bing.

Like the RSS feed, Microsoft’s new Discover tab is available in Edge Canary for select users and the feature will only appear on the right side of the browser. As shown in the screenshot above, you will be able to access the new Discover tab by simply clicking on the new button.

If you are already using Edge Canary and the Discover button is not available, there is nothing you can do. Edge features are rolling out in stages and Microsoft will enable the Discover tab or YouTube integration in a future update on your device.

And you?

What web browser(s) are you using?
What engine(s) do you use for Internet searches?
What do you think of Microsoft Bing in absolute terms?
What do you think of the different integrations the team behind Microsoft Edge has tried?

See also:

$Lapsus hackers have leaked 37GB of alleged Microsoft source code including Cortana, Bing and Bing Maps. The group also hacked and leaked data from LG Electronics
Microsoft announces end of lifecycle for Microsoft Edge Legacy browser on April 13, 2021, new Microsoft Edge built with Google’s Chromium

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