Microsoft wants to save bandwidth and conserve computing resources with this new browser plug-in patent

Jack Wilkinson

Microsoft Edge & Bing on Surface Pro

A new patent has emerged that was published just a few months ago. The patent, by Microsoft, aims to save bandwidth and conserve computing resources through its algorithm of loading webpage content.

Microsoft’s patent could be ideal for those who aren’t on unlimited data packages, as it can reduce the amount of data that is downloaded per webpage. Likewise, it can prove a benefit for those who have less powerful devices, such as low-end netbooks, as it can optimise the data sources included within a web page.

Microsoft patent browser plug-in

Within the payment on the US Patent and Trademark Office website (via Neowin), Microsoft explains how the browser plug-in could work:

The plug-in identifies links in a web page that retrieve additional data. In some embodiments, the additional data is retrieved and examined to obtain and identifier associated with the data. The identifier is then used to determine a course of action.

The patent then talks about the type of action that could be used to reduce bandwidth or conserve computing resources, which includes blocking the data, moving it, or “ask that future data comply with the interests of the user.”

Essentially, the plugin aims to optimise the way web pages are able to include links to other data that isn’t in the web page body itself. The ultimate aim is to only download data that is relevant to the user. It works differently to an ad blocker, as it instead works with servers to reach this aim, instead of plainly blocking content.

As this is a patent, and a recent one at that, there is no indication that Microsoft plans to develop and release such a plug-in, but it does now own the exclusive right to do so, as described in the patent.