April 4, 2016 weblog
Baked-in ad-blocking is not about to happen in Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge will not natively block ads. Microsoft has reacted to outside reports that Edge was going to acquire an integrated ad blocker.
Gregg Keizer of Computerworld had the Microsoft-says-no story, which ran in PCWorld. Keizer quoted a Microsoft engineer, Jacob Rossi, who is part of the browser team. Rossi had tweeted Keizer. The message was quite clear.
"We are not building a native ad blocker within [Microsoft Edge], but we will support third-party ad blockers like AdBlock and AdBlock Plus."
Another news site had earlier posted a story of how Microsoft would build the blocking features right into the browser The writer had seen a slide used in the Build developer conference session, "Microsoft Edge: What's Next for Microsoft's New Browser and Web Platform." The writing on the slide was misinterpreted.
What are ads and browsers coming to? Many users find them more bothersome than interesting yet publishers rely on them for advertising. Of the top browsers, Opera has found no problem in resolving the issue—the Opera team has come out in favor of blocking.
Opera has built ad-blocking into a developer preview of its flagship browser. In an interview with Computerworld, Opera's head of engineering, Krystian Kolondra, said the belief behind the move to ad-blocking move was primarily that by stripping out ads, sites would render significantly faster.
Keizer quoted Kolondra: "It's quite obvious that users care about speed," regarding an integrated ad blocker. "We should start talking about this. The [ad] industry should be making sure that ads are not ruining the user experience."
In an Opera blog last month, Kolondra said, "Today, bloated online ads use more download bandwidth than ever, causing webpages to load more slowly, at times covering the content that you're trying to see or trying to trick you into clicking "fake download buttons". Another rising concern is privacy and tracking of your online behavior."
Drew DeBruyne, general manager, Microsoft Edge, meanwhile, said in a blog post last month that "we will introduce extensions first to our Windows Insiders and then roll them out more broadly to all Windows 10 users. Initially our Insiders will download and then sideload extensions for testing purposes, but ultimately we will make extensions available to all of our customers via the Windows Store."
He said the Windows Insider build will include three preview extensions: (1) Microsoft Translator, an extension that automatically translates pages in over 50 languages, (2) a Mouse Gestures extension, and (3) a preview version of the Reddit Enhancement Suite (RES). "Later this year customers will find popular extensions from partners like AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Amazon, LastPass, Evernote and more."
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