Microsoft Edge enhances the sidebar function: you can view website information / send and receive emails, etc.
The sidebar contains small but useful panes, such as those that allow you to search the web and quickly read articles, or panes that contain various widgets, such as calculators, dictionaries, internet speed tests, and unit converters. Some panes are more comprehensive; Outlook, for example, lets you read and send email, as well as view your calendar (with a Microsoft account, of course).
Unfortunately, MicrosoftOfficePanes are not that useful. It does give you quick shortcuts to recent documents and apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, but clicking them just opens them in a new tab. While this may help some people work faster, I personally would like to be able to open a mini-spreadsheet next to any website I’m browsing.
The sidebar also has the Discover sidebar pane, which promises to add “contextually relevant information for any page”. Based on my testing, this can include information about a news site, which ranks it for reliability and accuracy, and shows information on which countries people access it from. It also does its best to add context to specific articles on those sites or other content you’re reading, usually using information from Wikipedia (interestingly, this is sometimes the case even if you’re reading a Wikipedia article).
Perhaps one of the most useful tricks of the Discover pane, though, is that when you’re on a recipe site, the sidebar automatically pulls up a list of ingredients, potentially saving you from scrolling through lengthy introductions about authors. The sidebar itself is somewhat customizable. You can hide or show it using a keyboard shortcut (Control + Shift + / by default), and you can choose which button to show on it.MicrosoftIt says it plans to add new features to the sidebar in the future, but it’s enough for now that it might be worth checking out if you’re an Edge user.