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Microsoft Edge can now capture and open links in tabbed PWAs

Microsoft is actively working on running Progressive Web Apps (PWA) inside Edge tabs. The latest Canary build introduces a new flag that allows PWAs that run in a tab to intercept and process links on Desktop. While it has some limitations, it extends the capabilities of tabbed PWAs in Windows 10, which now handle certain websites like Android apps do.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web apps that use modern web technologies. They can be launched on the Desktop and look like native apps. Microsoft Edge allows installing them with ease via a special button in the address bar.

While PWAs are hosted on the Internet, the user can create a special shortcut to launch them like a regular app, or install them in Windows 10 using Microsoft Store. Besides the Microsoft Store app, Windows users can use the certain Chromium-based browsers like Edge and Chrome to install them.

Recently Microsoft made it possible to enable tabs for PWAs in Edge. Starting in Edge Canary 88.0.680.1, the browser includes a new flag, Desktop PWA tab strip link capturing. When it is enabled, it allows a PWA running in a tab to become associated with a website. For exmaple, when you click on a YouTube link, instead of opening in a new browser tab, it will open in YouTube's PWA.

It works in PWAs developed by the site owner (like Twitter, Outlook, Spotify, etc.) and also in those sites that can be installed as apps.

It doesn't work in native Windows apps such as Mail, if you send an email that contains a link associated with a PWA, the link opens in the browser.

AS of now, it is not possible to disable or enable specific PWAs from opening automatically when clicking on a link. Maybe such an option will be added later.

Thanks to Leo for the heads-up.

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