Sorry, Windows 10 early adopters: Microsoft Edge WON'T block ads at launch

No extensibility mechanism planned for initial release


You won't have to worry about dodgy toolbars, rogue ActiveX controls, or buggy plugins when you use Microsoft Edge (née Project Spartan), Redmond's new web browser for Windows 10. But you can also forget about extending the browser in any way, at least at first.

Microsoft gave a sneak peek at its new, HTML/JavaScript-based extensibility engine for Edge at its Build developer conference in San Francisco last week. But on Wednesday we learned that this engine won't be available when the first general-availability build of Edge ships with the Windows 10 launch.

"We will enable this new model after our initial release of Microsoft Edge this summer and we look forward to sharing more details soon," the Internet Explorer Microsoft Edge team wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, that will leave Edge users with virtually no ability to adjust the browser's behavior or add new features. (We're looking at you, AdBlock.) The new browser supports neither ActiveX controls nor Browser Helper Objects (BHOs), which developers could use to extend Internet Explorer with plugins and add-on toolbars, respectively.

Many will see that as a blessing, since those two technologies were the source of more unwanted IE popups, ads, and malware than any other. But Microsoft isn't going to give us any alternative to use with Edge – at least, not with its first release.

In addition to dropping support for ActiveX and BHOs, Edge also does away with support for VBScript, DirectX filters and transitions, and a host of other obscure, IE-only extensibility interfaces, including Active Documents, binary behaviors, custom download managers, custom printing handlers, custom security managers, MIME filters, pluggable protocols, and Web Slices.

In other words, it won't just be legacy web apps that were coded for IE's quirks that won't work properly in Edge. Diehard IE users may lose other functionality that they've grown accustomed to, as well.

There are two notable exceptions. Microsoft says Edge will include built-in support for PDF files and Adobe Flash, much like Chrome does today. But don't expect any other media formats to be added to the built-in list later.

Microsoft rightly points out that a lot of these legacy extensibility methods have been left out of Edge because they have been supplanted by modern web standards. "Removed APIs do not necessarily mean removed capabilities," as the Edge team says.

Until Redmond delivers its promised new extension API, however, web power users may find that competing products like Chrome and Firefox will still have an edge – pun intended – over the new Windows 10 browser, at least initially. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading
  • Utility biz Delta-Montrose Electric Association loses billing capability and two decades of records after cyber attack

    All together now - R, A, N, S, O...

    A US utility company based in Colorado was hit by a ransomware attack in November that wiped out two decades' worth of records and knocked out billing systems that won't be restored until next week at the earliest.

    The attack was detailed by the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) in a post on its website explaining that current customers won't be penalised for being unable to pay their bills because of the incident.

    "We are a victim of a malicious cyber security attack. In the middle of an investigation, that is as far as I’m willing to go," DMEA chief exec Alyssa Clemsen Roberts told a public board meeting, as reported by a local paper.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021