Google forced to break Chrome extensions in 'damage limitation' exercise

Chrome extensions FAIL

$GOOG finds way to make more $$$?

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) regrets to announce that you'll soon be unable to sideload extensions into Chrome. The massive advertising broker says the inconvenience is justified because of security concerns. But some commentators see other motivations for the draconian change [cough ad-blockers cough YouTube downloaders cough].

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers debate, CNN-style: Good thing or bad thing?

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Neil McAllister registers his disquiet:

The walls around the garden of Google's Chrome browser are about to get a little higher. ... Beginning in January, the Windows version of Chrome will no longer be able to add extensions from any site other than Google's own Chrome Web Store...whether the extensions are intended for a wide audience or just a few users.

...

Developers who want their extensions to reach Chrome users had better familiarize themselves with the workings of the Chrome Web Store, pronto.  MORE

But Matt Swider swipes criticism aside:

There will only be one place for Windows-based Chrome browser extensions to be stored in 2014. ... Malicious extensions are the reason developers are being forced to migrate all of their extensions. ... One example that Google highlighted involved replacing the New Tab Page without users' approval.

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Chrome users shouldn't see much of a change. ... The only difference end-users will see is if developers don't migrate.  MORE

So Google's Erik Kay 'splains himself:

Extensions are a great way to enhance the browsing experience. ... However, bad actors have abused this mechanism. ... In fact, this is a leading cause of complaints.

...

Since these malicious extensions are not hosted on the Chrome Web Store, it’s difficult to limit the damage they can cause. ... If your extensions are currently hosted outside the Chrome Web Store you should migrate them as soon as possible. ... You could keep the extensions hidden from the Web Store listings if you like.

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If you have questions, please get in touch with us.  MORE

As Brad Chacos opines, "The sad march towards tribal fiefdoms continues":

Google says the decision to transform Chrome into a gated community stems from security concerns. ... The policy shift will no doubt make it easier for Google to police the sanctity of said extensions.

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But, it’s also worth noting, developers who want to include their Chrome Web Store have to pay a $5 registration fee—and if your Chrome Web Store-hosted app or extension generates income, Google will take a 5 percent cut.

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[It's] crappy par for a crappy course. Sadly, the shift away from the Open Web ideal is nothing new.  MORE

And Maxim R puts it more succinctly:

Apple called, they want their Walled garden back.  MORE

However, Debasis Mohanty thinks such criticism is exaggerated:

You can add other app stores to an Android handset. I wish the fruit company could treat its loyal customers as intelligent human beings.

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You can switch to the Chrome Canary builds and...you may install non web store extensions.

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Changing the search engine in Chrome is trivial. Try doing that using IE. If you are from India, the country specific search engine selection site does not even list Google search.

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The day Google takes away any of these choices, I shall dump Google. Till that day anything that I hear to the contrary is just...a bunch of over rehashed white lies.  MORE

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