As of January 2014, the only extensions that Google will allow to work with the Chrome browser are those downloaded from it’s web store. In other words, Google is banning add-ons that they have not sanctioned.
According to Erik Kay (engineering director at Google), Google believes this move will help keep away add-ons that are dangerous to your computer.
“Since these malicious extensions are not hosted on the Chrome Web Store, it’s difficult to limit the damage they can cause to our users. As part of our continuing security efforts, we’re announcing a stronger measure to protect Windows users: starting in January on the Windows stable and beta channels, we’ll require all extensions to be hosted in the Chrome Web Store.
We’ll continue to support local extension installs during development as well as installs via Enterprise policy, and Chrome Apps will also continue to be supported normally.”
However, this change is also a way for Google to assert better control over its Chrome ecosystem and, unless Google starts reviewing individual extensions that appear in Chrome Web Store, I predict an Androidification of Chrome Web Store. In other words, malicious extensions sneaks through now and again.
In any case, I’m sure it won’t be long until the more computer-savvy find a way around this. Rooting Chrome, anyone?
[via Business Insider, Chromium Blog, image via Robert Scoble’s flickr]