Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla to Standardize Browser Extensions

Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla to Standardize Browser Extensions

The companies behind the most popular browsers are teaming up to improve and standardize extensions. But it won’t be a joint marketplace for addons.


Almost every browser allows extending the functionalities with extensions. This can be a password manager, a shortcut to your mailbox, an ad blocker or other applications. But browsers do that in their own way.

These four will now work together through the newly established WebExtensions Community Group (WECG). They will standardize extensions and improve security and performance. The initiative is not limited to Safari, Chrome, Edge and Firefox, and others can join as well.

The aim is to build a consistent model for extensions with a common core of functionalities, APIs and permissions. There will also be an architecture that should provide better performance and reduce extensions being abused.

But it won’t be one-size-fits-all. For example, it seems that nothing changes for existing extensions. Each browser will also keep its marketplace for extensions, and not everything will be poured into rules and guidelines.

Browsers can still do their own thing around specific APIs, and browsers are free to implement their own policies in the extensions that they offer.

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