Microsoft has rolled out today updates to the Edge browser’s extensions system.
Known as “Manifest V3” these are changes that have been announced in October 2018 by Google for the Chromium open-source browser engine, namely to the WebExtensions API.
The changes update how browser extensions interact with Chromium-based browsers, such as Chrome, Brave, Opera, Vivaldi, and, as of this year, Microsoft Edge.
At the time the changes were announced in 2018, Google said the main intent was to improve extension security, make extensions more performant, and give users greater control over what extensions do and with which sites they interact.
However, extension developers were also quick to point out that the “Manifest V3” updates also contained changes that crippled the ability of ad blockers, antivirus, parental control enforcement, and various privacy-enhancing extensions to properly do their job.
The announcement caused a huge backlash from both users, extension developers, and even other browser makers. Users, in particular, viewed the move as a dirty hit from Google —an advertising company— to sabotage the ad-blocking ecosystem.
Browsers like Opera, Brave, and Vivaldi were quick to distance themselves from the debacle and announced plans to ignore the Manifest V3 updates and allow users to keep using ad blockers.