The lack of extensions on Microsoft Edge have been a sore point ever since its release with the original Windows 10 – but the issue has a bit more nuance than that; it’s not just about the lack of extensions – it’s also about the lack of adblockers.
It’s the harsh reality – nobody likes to talk about adblockers, but they cannot be ignored; Microsoft understands this too – that’s why Adblock Plus showed up on the Windows Store soon after Edge gained extension support with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
Today, another extension joins the list of adblockers on Edge – which isn’t a very long list, by the way – uBlock Origin, is an extension that is much more lightweight and resource-friendly when compared to something like Adblock Plus.
It’s not the same
There’s one important bit to note: uBlock Origin is an open-source extension, and therefore the source code is available to whomever that wishes to have a look at it. The extension for Microsoft Edge is not officially by the uBlock Origin team, but by Nik Rolls, a New Zealand-based developer who ported it to Edge.
Rolls forked the uBlock Origin project on Github – it’s still open source – and had managed to build a working prototype; Microsoft recently contacted Rolls about bringing the extension to Edge – and that’s what has happened.
It’s still the same
Rolls says the extension for Edge shares 95% of its code with Firefox and Chrome and credits the Edge team for matching compatibility with the Chrome APIs making it incredibly simple to port Chrome extensions to Edge.
The extension has all the features that its cousins on Chrome and Firefox do – including the ability to add certain websites to whitelists, so you don’t hurt their revenue streams.
In the end, adblockers are the necessary evil – you can get the extension via the Windows Store – but do remember to add the sites you enjoy reading to the whitelist.
You can read about Nik’s experience porting the Chrome extension to Edge, and its problems at his blog.