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What’s New in Web Experiences for September 2021
September 23, 2021

Our top new features are designed to put your family first

Fall is officially here. It’s hard to believe, but we’re in our second year where our lives continue to be impacted by the pandemic. Still, many families like mine are well into the school year routine, whatever that may look like. Fall is a very busy time with school, extra-curricular activities, work, meal planning, holiday planning and more. Maximizing time and money is key to getting through this busy time of year, especially when it comes to holiday shopping and family travels. Microsoft Edge is committed to putting your family first. This month, we’re excited to introduce new features to help you save time and money so you can focus on what matters most to you and your family.

If you’re running a Windows PC, you already have Microsoft Edge installed, so launch it and check it out. For those of you who haven’t tried Microsoft Edge yet, download it and let us know what you think!

Here’s what’s new in web experiences this month:

Access reviews and customer ratings while shopping in Microsoft Edge

Regular readers of this blog know that I love shopping online. And I heavily rely on online reviews to help me decide if a product fits my needs. However, ratings and reviews can take a lot of time and effort to research, and they are rarely in one place. This month, we’re excited to announce easy access to online expert reviews and customer ratings for over 5 million products right from the address bar when shopping in Microsoft Edge. To access ratings and reviews, all you need to do is browse for an item at your favorite store and click on the blue tag on the address bar. There, you will find expert online reviews from trusted sources for the product you are viewing. You will also see the average customer star rating across online retailers. This is just another way in which Microsoft Edge is the best browser for shopping and helps you save time.

Shopping made simpler and easier with express checkout

While I love shopping online, I do not look forward to entering my shopping and payment information at checkout each time, especially if it’s a site where I don’t have an account profile. I love the new express checkout feature in Microsoft Edge because it speeds up the guest checkout experience, which will definitely come in handy this holiday season! To use this feature while shopping in Microsoft Edge, select guest checkout within the retailer site and then click Try express checkout in the address bar. If you’ve used this feature before, you’ll see your autofill information there. Review the information for accuracy and then click Try all coupons and autofill details. If you haven’t used express checkout before, fill in your information once, and have Microsoft Edge save it for all your future purchases, regardless of where you shop.

Save time and money when planning your next trip

Some of you may have started to travel a bit more these past few months and/or may be planning on traveling for the holidays to catch up with family and friends.

This month, we’re introducing exciting new features to save you time when planning your next trip. The first is travel recommendations. Deciding what to do, see, and eat at your upcoming destination can be overwhelming and time consuming. Coming soon, Microsoft Edge will help you with your trip planning by providing recommendations for your travel destination. When you search for flights, you will see a notification appear in the address bar. Click on that to see the recommendations for your destination for restaurants, sightseeing and more, saving you time as you plan your trip. This feature will be available in the U.S. across the top 10 booking sites. Support for additional sites and markets will be coming soon.

This month, we’re also introducing a faster way to search for flights and hotels. This feature is designed to save you time by carrying your entries for departure location, destination and number of passengers when looking for flights. When you visit a new booking site, Microsoft Edge will ask if you want to use the same information you entered on a prior travel site, saving you time when planning your travels. Click on Continue to see the changes apply.  So, whether you plan to travel this holiday season or are starting to think about a future vacation, Microsoft Edge will be ready to help you save time and streamline your planning.

Finally, we’ve also shipped an update to the flight search experience on Microsoft Bing, available in all markets Bing supports. Now, you don’t need to go to a flight aggregation site and fill out the intake form. On the Bing search bar, simply type what you’re looking for – such as “Seattle to JFK flights” – and all available results will pop up in an instant for you to explore further. We’ve partnered with top industry players to find you the most competitive rates, so you can be sure you are getting the best prices.

Stay organized while you browse with tab groups

Let’s face it. During this time of year, we all have way too many tabs open – literally and figuratively. As in life, having way too many tabs open in your browser can be overwhelming. This is usually the case when I’m doing research for work, upcoming trips, or holiday shopping. It is easy for tab numbers to get out of control, making staying organized a challenge. This month, I am excited to announce that we’re introducing tab groups in Microsoft Edge. Tab groups allow you to organize the chaos by clustering tabs together. You can add a name and a color to help you easily find them or collapse them to make more space for other tabs. To start a tab group, hold down CTRL and use your cursor to select the tabs you want to aggregate. Then right-click and select Add tabs to new group, and a menu will open with options for customization. In addition to this, we also have tab preview available, which allows you to sneak a peek of the tab when you hover over it. This comes in handy when you have too many tabs open that look similar, making it easier to navigate to the one you need. This is just another way in which Microsoft Edge helps you make the most of your time online.

Introducing Microsoft Start: the content you care about, simplified and reinvented

News and information can be overwhelming. There is so much information coming at us from so many online sources, media channels and devices. There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day, especially during this time of year, to get caught up on it all. That is why, earlier this month, we introduced Microsoft Start. Microsoft Start is a personalized news feed and collection of informational content, which helps you start with articles you’re interested in. It provides both breaking headlines and content pertaining to your interests. Microsoft Start lets you access content on a range of topics all in a single destination. You can access Microsoft Start on your PC by clicking on content in the New Tab Page of Microsoft Edge or navigating directly to on your PC. There’s also a Microsoft Start mobile app that you can download for iOS or Android so you can stay informed on the go!

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Whew! That was a lot, thank you for sticking with me during this! We hope that you enjoy all this beautiful time of year has to offer and that our brand-new features help you save time and money. Please continue to send us your feedback as we work to make the web more innovative and open for everyone.

Editor’s note – Sept. 28, 2021 – The paragraph above describing the trip planning feature was updated to note that the feature will be coming soon to Microsoft Edge.