Evolution of the Ask Cortana feature, folks. Microsoft has enabled a new search feature in Microsoft Edge Canary and Dev, and it allows users to search for information in a sidebar.
Meaning, without leaving the current tab.
The software titan had promised this addition earlier this year, with the company saying that the new search in the sidebar is based on the feedback it received from users. And is actually just one step in its quest to improve contextual search in its new browser.
“Sidebar search builds off the foundation we began with “Ask Cortana” in the previous version of Microsoft Edge and addresses feedback we received when “Ask Cortana” didn’t meet your needs.”
The migration to the Chromium engine is what allowed Microsoft to make Edge available on other platforms too, and this new sidebar search feature is also available on macOS and older versions of Windows.
It will also arrive for the Linux version of Microsoft Edge when that launches.
The idea behind sidebar search is to allow you to simply select content on a page, right-click it and then search for that information in a pane on the right side of the screen. All this happens without you leaving the currently active tab.
Right now, the search is performed with Bing, as Microsoft is not offering an option to change the search engine to Google or any other search provider.
However, the company says that it is offering a complete search experience here. That is to say, you will also get other content like images and videos in addition to links. And those signed into their Azure Active Directory account at work will also see company results.
Expect this feature to roll out with the next public release of the web browser.