Microsoft's Edge team is now following through on its promise to bring improvements to Chrome, starting with tab moving, directly from its own browser. Now, at the surface, the changes — spotted by Redditor "Leopeva64-2" and reported by Android Police — aren't big ones. The primary change that was spotted was an alteration that informed users they could move a tab to a new window. The big change there is the addition of the word "tab."
Under that change, buried in the Chromium code repository, there are additional changes that will make moving tabs more productivity-focused. Namely, the Edge team is working to add multiple tab moving.
The change would ensure that users could hold down the 'ctrl' key or shift key to select pages. Then users would be able to right-click to move multiple tabs to a new window. Conversely, they can also choose to move those to a secondary window that's already opened. Better still, the feature appears to be prepped so that tabs that are pinned will remain pinned through the move.
Since the change is being made to Chromium directly, it should ultimately appear in every version of Chrome that supports multiple windows. That would include desktop platforms and Chrome OS.
Edge features to Chrome are just the surface of incoming changes
Microsoft has been working closely with Google's Chromium team since 2018. As early as December 2018 represents the time frame for Microsoft pledging to help make Chrome better. But for the most part, that promise was centered around improvements to Google Chrome's security. The idea is that with both Google and Microsoft working together on the underlying code, each company may be able to catch problems the other might have missed.
Since Microsoft's Edge browser is now based in the same code as Chrome, improved security isn't the only change that had been pledged either. Microsoft's world-class development team also promised to help with touch interactions in Chrome on Windows. That undoubtedly helps the position of Windows since it means a smoother experience for Microsoft's customers.
Conversely, the new tab moving feature seems to primarily benefit Google since it's similar to features already found in Edge. But appearances on that front may be deceiving.
If Microsoft adds in these features at the base level of Chromium, it will arguably be easier to make changes to those in the future. So even if it does help Chrome stand on equal footing, it may be possible for Edge to be more rapidly advanced in the future. That would give Microsoft an advantage in keeping new and existing customers. There'd simply be little incentive to switch from the default browser.
When might the tab moving feature arrive in Chrome?
By all accounts, the development of tab moving features for Chrome is still in its very earliest stages. The addition of the word "tab" to the UI will be straightforward. But tacking on the ability to move multiple tabs will be more complex. That complexity will only ramp up as more features such as the ability to move to specific windows are added in.
So it shouldn't be expected that this feature will arrive any time soon.