Microsoft Edge gets a new sidebar with quick access in Outlook and other Office apps

Bing, Outlook, Office and other Microsoft products are getting a new spotlight in the new Edge release, as the web browser gets a new sidebar that makes it easier to access the email and documents you work with.

The change is present starting with Microsoft Edge version 104.0.1293.63, which was released August 19 as an official update for Windows-based devices. The new feature is intended to eliminate the need to open a new Edge tab or window, and services built into the sidebar can be accessed at any time without interrupting the current browsing session.

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According to Microsoft’s own description, the new sidebar allows users to access Microsoft Edge features right from the browser window. The services thus available are Discover, Bing Search, Outlook, Office, Games and Tools, the latter including a unit converter and an internet connection speed test function. Administrators can control the availability of the Microsoft Edge sidebar by changing the HubsSidebarEnabled setting under Windows Policies.

Also related to the new sidebar is the search function, as Microsoft hopes this will increase the popularity of the Bing engine.

The games section includes classic titles intended for casual fun, all of which are available for free.

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Outlook integration covers both access to the Message Inbox and Calendar entries. You can use the new Edge sidebar for direct access to documents and office applications, saving time and improving productivity.

Microsoft notes that not all of the features mentioned will be available immediately, with the company opting for gradual activation, with coverage varying by region.

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