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Microsoft: Releases new extension API in Microsoft Edge

Microsoft yesterday released updates to the Edge browser extension system.

Known as "Manifest V3", these are the changes that have been announced since October 2018 by Google for the Chromium open source browser engine, specifically in the WebExtensions API.

Changes update how browser extensions interact with Chromium-based browsers such as ChromeBrave, Opera, Vivaldi and, from this year, Microsoft Edge.

Edge microsoft

When the changes were announced in 2018, Google said the main intention was to improve the security of the extensions, make the extensions more efficient and give users more control about what extensions do and with whom websites interact.

However, the developers of the extension also pointed out that the "Manifest V3" updates contained changes that destroyed the ability operation of ad blockers, antivirus, of parental control and various privacy enhancements.

The announcement provoked huge reactions from both users, extension developers, even browser builders. Users, in particular, saw the move as a blow to Google to sabotage the ad-blocking ecosystem.

Browsers such as Opera, Brave and Vivaldi announced plans to ignore Manifest V3 updates and allow users to continue using ad blockers.

Mozilla, which also implemented the WebExtensions API in Firefox for compatibility reasons, also denounced Chrome plans and said it would not follow the Google WebExtensions API update and would do some changes on its own to allow ad blockers to continue to function properly.

In the face of all this criticism, Google backed down by making some changes to Manifest V3 in March 2019 and made even more changes in June, following a criticism that it was dishonest in raft her.

Since then, Manifest V3 changes have begun to be released in Chrome, although some ad blocker extension developers seem to have given up their ability to block ads as soon as these changes reach fixed versions of Chrome.

Manifest V3 changes to Chrome are currently being tested.

These changes have now reached the new Edge, where they are already available at beta and in fixed versions.

However, Microsoft said today that these changes will not affect ad blockers, a fear that many had users.

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