Mozilla Firefox could “borrow” Microsoft Edge’s best feature

As Microsoft Edge continues to gain users, Mozilla plans to steal its best feature: vertical tabs.


Firefox browser page on laptop

Microsoft Edge has been posting incredible numbers lately, to the point that its competitors are now taking inspiration from it. Now, a Mozilla community project manager has confirmed that the company is experimenting with implementing Edge’s amazing vertical tab feature in its browser.

Moving Mozilla Firefox to vertical tabs in Microsoft Edge

As spotted by Softpedia, Mozilla users have been begging for Microsoft Edge’s vertical tab feature to debut on Firefox. And now Community Product Manager Jon Siddoway says that while nothing is set in stone yet, the company is definitely thinking about it.

As Siddoway points out in a Firefox Feature Request Forum:

Hi all, Here’s some exciting news… This idea came up as a hot idea in the community and has been reviewed by the Mozilla product team. And we will continue to explore this possibility by taking a closer look at tab management. This means we’ll invest in research before making this final decision, but we urge you to continue the conversation and stay tuned for announcements.

In case you’re not sure what’s going on, vertical tabs are designed for “tabaholics”: people who keep lots of tabs open in their browser.

Your browser can handle as many tabs as your hardware allows, but the more tabs you add, the more they compress to make room. Eventually, they’ll only display their “favicons”: the little icons that tell you what website you’re on. This removes important identifying information for each tab, such as titles and page names.

Vertical tabs solve this problem by displaying the tabs on the side of the screen, instead of on top. This way, tabs don’t need to be squashed to make room, which means you can quickly locate the tab you’re looking for.

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Of course, since the monitors are wider than they are tall, that means you’ll have to scroll more to find the tab you want. On the other hand, it doesn’t matter if you have one tab or 100 open tabs; they will all display their full page title.

Microsoft Edge makes a splash

Microsoft had plenty to celebrate with its Edge browser. Ever since its phoenix-like resurrection using a chrome base, the browser has gone from strength to strength over the years.

It’s now at the point where Microsoft Edge is threatening Safari’s spot at number two, trailing internet giant Google Chrome. And as such, companies that once scoffed at Microsoft’s browser offerings are now taking notice as Edge users begin to grow.

As such, it’ll be interesting to see if other browsers start “borrowing” bits from Edge as well. And if they do, we’ll have to see if that’s enough to encourage users to ditch Edge and use third-party solutions instead.

If you can’t beat them, join them

With Mozilla now eyeing Microsoft Edge’s vertical tabs, it’s a clear sign that Microsoft’s product is causing others to reevaluate their position in the market. We’ll have to wait and see if Edge can maintain its momentum or scare users away to its competitors as they borrow ideas from the browser.


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