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Microsoft Edge's New Search Feature Frustrates Everyone

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The current iteration of Microsoft Edge started out as a great browser based on the Chromium engine, but over time Microsoft has become more and more bloated. There’s another new feature that doesn’t seem popular. Visual search.

With the new Visual Search feature in Microsoft Edge, you can take any image from any website and use the Bing search engine to find similar images (or what the image represents). Google offers a similar feature in Chrome, which is very helpful, but Microsoft’s implementation in Edge is strange.Accessible via right-click/context menu and sidebar, but also reveals a button to enable visual search when moused over any image.

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Do you see a popup circle when you hover over the image?

This feature first appeared in Edge 95, but is starting to roll out more widely, including the WebView2 framework that some other Windows applications use to render web content (such as Teams Chat in Windows 11). . Sure enough, this is a headache for both people using Edge and his web developers building sites and web apps for Edge. Currently limited to Edge on Windows.

On Microsoft’s support forums, one user wrote: Using visual search on images did not match 99 times out of 100. There is also at least a a bit Complaints on social media.

This feature is also not popular with web developers. One reason is that it not only encourages people to leave his current website, but also distracts them from the content of the page. As one developer said: There’s also an image carousel, where a half-dozen or so small visual search indicators fly by as you swipe through the images. Another person working on a web app for children with autism said image search pop-ups are “extremely disruptive to concentration and learning.”

Microsoft Edge has a setting to turn off visual search ([設定]>[外観]>[コンテキスト メニュー]) and administrators can turn it off for all PCs in their company or organization using Group Policy. However, it shouldn’t be enabled by default in the first place, and there’s no way for sites to disable it on their pages. Some sites use the pointer-events CSS property to hide popups, but this breaks image click-dependent functionality and also hides text descriptions.

Unless the primary purpose is to facilitate the use of Bing services, there is no reason (especially by default) for visual search to appear as a popup if it can stay in the right click/context menu. Microsoft has certainly been guilty of that. Just a few months ago, Bing clutter was added to the Windows 10 and Windows 11 Start Menu. It’s frustrating to see the Edge browser grow bloated over time, but at least alternatives like Firefox and Chrome still exist.