Microsot has released a new version of the Chromium-based Edge browser that now includes changes known as Manifest V3. At the same time, the developers promise that advertising brokers will still work.
Let me remind you that the first changes to Manifest V3 were announced at the end of 2018. Then Google engineers decided to limit the webRequest API, which could negatively affect the functioning of content blockers and other extensions. Instead of webRequest, developers will be encouraged to use the declarativeNetRequest API. Of course, Google believed these improvements would improve security and performance, and give users more control over what extensions do and which sites they interact with.
However, extension developers quickly discovered that switching to a different API that was very different from webRequest and in many ways inferior to it would, in essence, be the death of their products. In particular, this concerned ad blockers, antiviruses, parental control solutions and various products that increase privacy.
Then users and developers accused Google of sabotage and saw it as a step aimed at combating ad blocking. As a result, the browser makers Opera, Brave and Vivaldi distanced themselves from this disaster and hastily announced that they would ignore Manifest V3 updates and allow people to continue using ad blockers and other products.
Mozilla, which also implemented the WebExtensions API inside Firefox, too denounced Google's plans and stated that she would make some code changes of her own to keep blockers working.
As a result, under pressure from the public, Google developers were forced to abandon some updates from the Manifest V3, and then revised their plans even more, undoing a number of changes.
Since then, Manifest V3 changes already started to implement in Chrome, and the frustration gradually subsided, although some ad blocker developers seem to have simply resigned themselves to the fact that their products will not be able to reliably block ads once the changes are made to stable versions of Chrome.
And now these changes have also touched the new Microsoft Edge based on Chromium, where Manifest V3 is already present in beta and stable versions. Let me remind you that all this time the Microsoft developers did not comment on the situation around Manifest V3 and did not say what they were going to do. However, Microsoft has now said that these changes will not harm the ad blockers that many users feared.
“We recognize the value of content blocking extensions and the role they play in allowing users to make choices, block ads, and increase privacy by blocking cookies. We want developers to continue to offer these capabilities to people.
After careful study of the issues raised by content blockers and the community, we believe that most of these issues have been or will be resolved before the webRequest API is permanently deprecated, ”the development team blog said Microsoft Edge…