'Feature Creep' Microsoft Edge, And The Over-Complication Beyond The Market's Demand

Practically all software products were born bare to the bone. Their developers tend to just include the basics and only the required, essential elements.

But as a software matures, and by the time it has its own market and users, the software needs to have more features and functionalities.

After all, different users may have different demands.

And when considering competitors, there is no time to look around because the competition are all competing to win one common market.

In the tech world where everything is fast paced, being a stagnant is the recipe for disaster.

Edge is a web browser from the software giant Microsoft.

While it was born when Microsoft ditched EdgeHTML in favor of Chromium, the browser was blazingly fast.

Microsoft Edge
Credit: Microsoft

After revealing the Chrome-powered Edge and rolling it out, the browser managed to dethrone Mozilla's Firefox to become the second most popular web browser at the time, .

One of the reasons is because Edge has the advantage of owning the market, is due to Microsoft's aggressive push and market throughout Windows 10.

Thanks to Chromium, Edge was like a slimmed-down version of Chrome, a browser from Google that also uses Chromium, with many of the same features, but just less.

On top of that, Edge does have some quirks and features that made it a capable web browser.

Fast forward, things are changing.

When people complained that Google Chrome is the most bloated web browser ever, Edge, the Microsoft browser that is indeed very capable, is also becoming pretty bloated.

When Chrome is blamed for eating up computer resources, Microsoft Edge, the once-was-a-lightweight-browser made with good intention, is also getting heavy.

The phenomenon is called "feature creep."

Microsoft was so obsessed in regaining what it had back in the glorious days of Internet Explorer, the time when Microsoft had little to no competition in the browser market. With this obsession, Microsoft is adding more features than what's really necessary.

While the features Microsoft added to Edge do help in terms of functionality and experience, these extra features go far beyond the basic function of the product.

As a result, Microsoft is bloating Edge with its over-complication, rather than the simple design it once had.

Another reason besides Microsoft's obsession, is the pace the industry is moving.

While more and more people are using mobile phones and do what they do through apps, and socialize through social media platforms, internet users also continue to grow, meaning that web browser users are still plenty.

Feature creep
Credit: Medium

As the technology that works behind the internet evolves, and so do the protocols and the networks, web browser need to adapt, and that they need to adapt fast.

Not only that Edge needs to appeal the desire of consumers who are casual website surfers, it needs to also appeal developers and alike.

With users demanding more useful and desirable product, Microsoft has no choice.

The most common cause of feature creep is the desire to provide the consumer with a more useful or desirable product, in order to increase sales or distribution.

Edge has reached the point at which it does everything that it is designed to do. Seeing how hard it is to dethrone Google Chrome, and seeing how others like Mozilla Firefox, Brave, Opera, Vivaldi, and fighting hard, Microsoft is left with no choice other than adding functions that it think users will like.

At the cost of efficiency, Microsoft bets big.

It's only through feature creep, that Microsoft can get more users to at least eat away Chrome's massive pie.

Another software best known for suffering feature creep, is Instagram. The photo- and video-sharing platform was once a basic social platform. But in time, the platform has become an amalgamation of the classic Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook.

The thing about Edge's feature creep however, is that Microsoft isn't stealing features from other browsers. Instead, Microsoft has been adding a lot of just plain unnecessary things.

So here, this is a proof that Microsoft just can't help itself.

Microsoft Edge

Sure, Microsoft in adding things up can differentiate itself from the competition. But piling things too much makes Edge bloated and too busy, especially for the majority of people who don’t want them.

And as web browsers are already having an extensions model for adding functionality that doesn’t belong in the core browser, this feature creep is putting an uneeded extra stress to browser.

But regardless, Edge is a very powerful web browser.

Despite the number of gimmicks that most people may never use, Edge is generally a browser that is also a viable competitor to Chrome.

Edge is more than just Chrome with Microsoft’s name slapped on it. The company has added more than a few unique features, many of which can be useful for users to preserve their privacy.

At the end of the day, Edge as a web browser is able to make using the internet as easy as possible, even for newbies.