Microsoft Edge Add-ons Store is a new user acquisition opportunity
Microsoft gave up on it’s own browser engine and embraced Chromium for the latest incarnation of Edge browser. Last year, the new version of Edge rolled out globally together with Windows Update. Overall, this is great for end-users, because Chromium brings better performance and standards support. It’s also great for Chrome extension developers, because suddenly there is a new browser that can be targeted with minimal code conversion effort. In 2021, Edge reached user adoption of 4.10% and already beat Firefox (3.66%).
Chrome Web Store vs Edge Add-ons Store
Technically, there is no need to convert or publish your extension via Edge Add-ons store. Microsoft allows to install extensions directly from Chrome Web Store. But it will probably not last long. As soon as the Edge Add-ons store has a more significant number of extensions, this interoperability will most likely be closed down.
Moreover, It’s questionable if end-users are aware that they can install extensions to Edge browser from Chrome Web Store. This information is hidden under a “Learn More” link and by default users are directed to Edge Add-ons store.
Lastly, there is a matter of trust. Users may have a greater trust in Microsoft scanning extensions and preventing malware in the Add-ons store than they have in Google. There is unfortunately plenty of bad press about Google to support this position.
Getting your extension ready
So you are convinced that you should submit your extension to the Edge Add-ons store. What's next? First, you will need to register as a developer on the Windows Developer Center.
Next you will need to review your extension code and make sure that it does not rely on any Google services to function and there is no wording that would promote Chrome browser. For example, if your login flow relies on Google login, you should add an option for Microsoft account as well. If you prompt users to leave a review in the Chrome Web Store, you should change it to point to the Edge Add-ons store. You should also perform manual testing in Edge even though the extension API is identical to Chrome, you can never be too sure.
Lastly, create a store listing, fill in the required details, upload an extension package and hit submit. You will immediately get a message if automatic scanning fails, otherwise extension will be passed for a human review. Review process can take up to 7 days.
Congrats, now you have a presence in one more extension store and more opportunities to reach new users.