Despite the name, web browsers are used for more than just consuming content on the Internet these days. They have almost become like operating systems themselves, and people are using them to get work done, particularly those that involve office documents. Given that use case, it only seems reasonable that browsers start getting better document processing tools, and Microsoft Edge is coming to the rescue by integrating its writing assistance tool, so you won’t have to sign up for a separate service for that.
This actually isn’t completely new functionality for advanced Microsoft Edge users. The browser has long offered an add-on called Microsoft Editor that offered grammar, spelling, and style suggestions. Instead of having to copy and paste content between a word processor like Microsoft Word and an email, you can have all those checks done inside the web page itself.
Users of Grammarly, perhaps the most popular name in this market, will be familiar with how this kind of functionality can save a lot of time and reputation. Of course, it’s also a small business where more advanced features are locked behind paid subscriptions. Both Grammarly and Microsoft Editor have such options, the latter requiring a Microsoft 365 subscription.
What Microsoft is announcing is that Microsoft Editor is graduating from an optional add-on to an official part of the Edge browser. Users will no longer even need to be aware that such an add-on exists, and they can simply type in any text field to see marks for typos or style suggestions.
This feature is another way Microsoft is trying to distance itself from Google Chrome by offering added value on top of the same Chromium base. The new built-in functionality is still in testing among Insiders on the Canary and Dev channels. It’s currently limited to Windows users in the US but will hopefully expand to all platforms where Edge is available.