Microsoft's Edge browser already contains several
shopping-specific tools for Black Friday and holiday shopping.
Today, Microsoft said it's adding even more: automatic alerts of
price changes, and a migration of its coupon and price-history
features to the mobile version of Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft may be actively trying to block users from choosing another browser in Windows 11, but
where online shopping is concerned, Edge is truly useful. When
shopping at Amazon or Best Buy, for example, Edge will not only
suggest coupons that it knows of, it will also automatically try
inputting them when it's time to check out. Edge also tracks the
price history of a specific item, letting you know if you've found
the best price available and tracking the historical price
of the product, too. Price history has been a staple of sites like Camelcamelcamel for years, but before
Edge's browser integration the feature often required a plugin.
Edge is now taking price tracking a step further. Soon, Edge
will use your browsing history to keep an eye on products you've
viewed, and if that product changes in price, Edge will let you
know. (Edge often uses the URL bar as a message center, with
notifications that slide out. Presumably, Microsoft will also use
this to notify you of price changes.)
Currently, you can use
Microsoft Edge to browser to a particular product on a shopping
page. Edge will then show you its pricing history.
Mark Hachman / IDG
For now, however, many of those pricing features have been
reserved for the desktop browser. Microsoft said Thursday that it's
already ported over the coupons feature to the mobile version of
Edge for iOS and Android. Later this month, Microsoft will be
bringing the pricing comparison and price history tools to Edge on
Android as well, while the remaining shopping features will be
added in future versions.
The company will also allow users to pin the Microsoft Rewards
experience to the Edge toolbar. Rewards, Microsoft's way of paying you to use its services, is already
quite aggressive in pushing itself on you; in March, for example,
Bing was caught pushing popup ads to promote Bing Rebates. Now, Microsoft said, you can
simply click the ellipsis menu within Edge, right-click the
Microsoft Rewards option, and select show in toolbar.
Finally, for every ten purchases made in Microsoft Edge at
eligible retailers, Microsoft said it will make a donation to the
Eden Reforestation Project for planting trees.