Microsoft Edge looks to be getting more AI – this time it should help make the browser look better

Microsoft Edge looks to be getting more AI - this time it should help make the browser look better
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Microsoft Edge, the pre-installed default browser for Windows devices, could be getting a new AI-powered capability that will enable you to create custom browser themes. This might be the next step in Edge’s AI evolution, with the browser already having Copilot, Microsoft’s AI assistant, integrated into its user interface. This development will affect Microsoft Edge in both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

As highlighted by Windows Latest, the revelation comes courtesy of a section in the Microsoft 365 roadmap titled ‘Microsoft Edge: AI theme generator,’ which explains how the new feature will allow you to enter a text prompt and generate a series of images to preview as potential Edge themes. If you choose one of these images to apply, it will become the background in newly opened tab pages, and the dominant color in the image will be applied to the browser’s frame. 

Currently, Edge only supports Windows 10’s and Windows 11’s default themes (dark or light) and other built-in themes. While there are more themes available for download in Microsoft’s Edge Add-Ons store (in the Themes section), the AI-generated theme feature will allow you to whip up a theme that’s unique to your PC. 

Microsoft Edge

(Image credit: Microsoft; Shutterstock)

An AI image generation tool already exists within Edge in the form of Copilot’s image generator feature that’s powered by OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 tech. Microsoft’s classic Paint app has also got an AI tune-up, with its own image generator named Image Creator (formerly Cocreator).

One catch with these, though, is that they produce images with a 1,024 x 1,024 resolution. With Edge, though, the resolution will be ramped up to cater for creating backgrounds that will be displayed sharply and clearly on 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) or higher resolution monitors.

Edge could also get ‘clutter-free’ printing

Windows Latest further observes that Microsoft is also testing a ‘clutter-free’ printing feature in Edge, with the reference ‘ClutterFreePrinting’ found in a test build of the browser (from the Canary channel).

This feature appears in the Edge interface as a ‘Smart Print’ toggle, and when used it automatically removes ads from the page you’re trying to print, leaving only the main contents of the page. Windows Latest gave this a go and didn’t have much luck, trying the tool on a page with no adverts (from Wikipedia) and a page with ads (from its own site). The former resulted in the site’s structure being jumbled, and the latter cut out all the images on the site, whether an ad or relevant to the article. Of course, the tool is still being tested and Microsoft is still working on it, so it’ll doubtless be improved by the time it’s included in a future Edge update. 

The AI theme generation feature is kind of neat, I suppose, but it’s not totally necessary and I don’t know how much it’ll meaningfully improve the core Edge user experience. Still, it might be fun to try, and a way of adding more visual customization to your software. On the other hand, there are people out there who will likely feel it’s about capitalizing on AI hype by sticking this functionality in everywhere possible, whether there’s a substantial benefit or not. 



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