The Mozilla Firefox extension store will soon be compatible with Manifest v3-based web browser add-ons.
One of the “biggest important modifications in the extensions platform since it began a decade ago” is Google’s Manifest v3 (MV3), a software architectural upgrade first suggested in 2018.
Google has said that this new technology would allow users to “employ more modern open web technologies like service workers and promises” and provide “enhancements in security, privacy, and performance.”
When will this new policy be implemented?
Beginning Monday, November 21st, programmers may submit Mv3 extensions to be signed. While Microsoft has been testing Manifest V3 in its Edge browsers since October 2020, Mozilla is arguably late to the game.
However, Manifest V3 has its detractors.
As the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other staunch privacy advocates have said, “changes in Manifest V3 won’t halt harmful extensions but will hamper innovation, decrease extension capabilities, and degrade real-world performance,” they are strongly opposed to the upgrade.
Since Google controls Chromium, the open-source browser technology behind Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, which together command a sizable percentage of the browser market, it’s unclear that Mozilla had much of a say in the decision to employ MV3 inside Firefox.
It may just be a matter of moving ahead with the times, since even Apple has officially certified MV3 for its Safari browser on macOS and iOS.
All Chromium-based browsers will stop supporting Manifest V2, the precursor to Manifest V3, in June of 2023.
Not that Mozilla has ever gone to war with Google before, but it wouldn’t be the first time. In a study published in September 2022, the business accused Google, Microsoft, and Apple of “self-preferencing,” or encouraging users to choose their own browsers.