Microsoft offers a cool Xbox extension for Microsoft Edge: Xbox New Tab

If you've tired of Microsoft Edge's news feed and calming nature images, why not try a flaming skull from Gears 5 instead?

Credit: Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft has published a new Xbox extension for Microsoft Edge that blurs the lines between working from home and sneaking a peek into your favorite game streams. And hey, who says your web browser can’t have a little fun?

The new Xbox New Tab extension for the new Microsoft Edge alters Edge’s layout schemes from its mix of inspirational and informational new-tab screens to add a fourth option: scenes and art from popular Xbox games, as well as quick links to popular game streams. (Oddly, all of the featured streams that were displayed linked to Twitch, but there’s also a dedicated shortcut to Microsoft’s own Mixer service.)

Though Microsoft promoted the new extension on a Microsoft Rewards page we visited, the extension is still very early in its lifecycle: version, according to the extensions page. (A related version is on the Chrome Web Store, at version

xbox new tab extension Microsoft edge Mark Hachman / IDG

An alternate view of the Xbox New Tab extension for Microsoft Edge, showing off Xbox Game Pass content.

When you open a new tab using the Xbox extension, you’ll see a massive, game-inspired graphic as the background for the tab, configurable from a small menu in the upper left corner. That menu allows you to choose from popular Xbox games—Age of Empires 2, Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, and Sea of Thieves, to name just a few—with the ability to step through a few choices of background graphics from each. A large, Bing-powered search box appears at the top of the page. 

Under the search box, Microsoft has added links to game-specific content. With the Gears 5 option configured, there were shortcuts to, the Gears of War Twitter feed and Facebook pages, plus dedicated Gears channels on YouTube, Twitch, and Mixer. (The promotional intro that we saw implied that there would be a direct link to Microsoft’s Game Pass service as well, but either Microsoft erroneously published that information or it’s not live at the moment.)

More interesting, though, are the thumbnails of live streams featuring the game that now appear on the bottom of the page. There, users can dive into live content that’s featuring the game right now. 

xbox xbox new tab extension for edge permissions Mark Hachman / IDG

The permissions screen for Microsoft’s Xbox New Tab extension.

The permissions attached to the Edge extension are broad enough to be slightly intimidating, but they seem to be relatively benign. In the “site access” permissions viewable in the screenshot above, for example, Edge gives the New Xbox Tab extension permission to “Allow this extension to read and change all your data on websites you visit.” In my short experience with using the tab I have yet to see a popup notification, but the extension says you might. Here they are:

  • Change the page you see when you open a new tab
  • Read your browsing history
  • Display notifications
  • Communicate with cooperating websites
  • Manage your apps, extensions, and themes

Sure, the New Xbox Tab for Edge might not be the most productive extension for Edge that you could add. But if you want (or need) a brief distraction while opening a new tab, this could be just the thing.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments


Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >




Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?