The functionality is present in the Canary and Dev preview versions of Edge, and it’s another way of quickly opening a link in a new tab (with a further twist added).
Currently, if you want to open a link in a new tab you can right-click and select the option, or double-click your middle mouse button on the link.
This new method is to click the link and drag it (just a little way, in any direction), then drop it, at which point the link will appear in a new tab.
The mentioned additional twist here is that you can also highlight and drag (then drop) any piece of text on a web page in the same way, and that will run a search on the text in a new tab. (Handily employing your default search engine, too – and not forcing the search to open in Bing.com, as the more cynical might have expected).
Elsewhere in the Canary version of Edge, a ‘preview link’ option has been added to the right-click menu for links. Selecting this pops up a small preview of the site you’ll be sent to, as you can see in the tweet below from well-known leaker Leopeva64.
“Preview link” option now also works in Edge Canary:https://t.co/JKoc6TugnH.https://t.co/aaxOAR43aA pic.twitter.com/kZbZSO0L1xDecember 18, 2023
Analysis: A touch of magic
The new supercharged drag and drop function is a laudable addition to Microsoft’s web browser as it’s always good to have more ways to do things, and it’ll be particularly handy for touchscreen laptop or tablet users wanting to quickly open links in a new tab. (Those users who aren’t mousing and therefore miss out on that shortcut of double-clicking the mouse wheel).
Naturally, the feature is still in testing – as are the mentioned link previews – but we can’t see any reason why Microsoft wouldn’t push these capabilities through to the release version of Edge. Fingers crossed, as ever, that nothing odd happens which might derail the progress of either feature.