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back to article Google Chrome: Extensions now ONLY from the Company Store

The walls around the garden of Google's Chrome browser are about to get a little higher, thanks to upcoming changes to how developers are allowed to distribute browser extensions to users on Windows. Beginning in January, the Windows version of Chrome will no longer be able to add extensions from any site other than Google's own …

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Black Helicopters

and the google play store has already dropped Adblock+ for android, how long before they block such useful extensions from the desktop browser to?

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If they wanted to, they could already have decimated the Chrome user base by blocking it from the Chrome store. I suspect they won't because the loss of users to Firefox would be more damaging than the loss of ad revenue, a migration that won't happen with Android.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Yeah right

How long until useful extensions like adBlock (which DIRECTLY hinders the cash machine) gets blocked from the store?

I'm guessing "a couple of weeks".

As for this notion that this move is "for our protection" - BULL!

It's not the cop's responsibility to make sure I lock my doors and close my windows at night. Just so this is not their responsibility. If a warning window is popped up asking me if know what the hell I'm doing, and reminding me that this might end in tears, and I STILL go ahead...on my head it must be then.

ffs.

I think the thing that makes me the angriest is the bullcrap they are wrapping this in.

At least have the balls to fess up and state this is purely a revenue squeezing move, pure and simple!

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Flame

Hey google

It's MY pc. If you wont let me to install whatever add-on I wish, then you can go fuck yourselves with a rusty fork.

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Re: Hey google

You said 'fork'. I think you meant 'chainsaw'.

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Re: Hey google

I do agree that you should be able to do whatever you want with the hardware you own. However, you are bound to the licensing terms of whatever software you use. Unfortunately, the builds you're most likely using are THEIR software. Chrome is by no means free (you pay with data, not with money) or open source; its brother Chromium is, on the other hand. Google can do what they want with their proprietary builds, but anyone can undo that in Chromium if they so wish.

I'm not saying that open source software is The Way even if I do prefer it overall, keep in mind. At least for the meantime, you as the user do still have the choice in which software you use. If you don't like how Google are directing Chrome's future, show them that you won't tolerate any totalitarian decisions they make and just switch away. On Windows, you have the choices of Mozilla Firefox, Opera (now a Chromium fork anyway), Internet Explorer, SRWare Iron (another Chromium fork), Maxthon (some weird fusion of Chromium and IE), Avant Browser (did I say Maxthon was a weird fusion? I spoke way too soon), and countless others.

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Re: Hey google

Exactly, just say NO to big brother's bitch!

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Re: Hey google

You can still install addons, only using a different method if you don't want it online.

This is about protecting the majority of users who unknowingly install addons.

We all remember the frustrating IE toolbar days - the Ask and Google toolbars were annoying enough let-alone the adware/junk toolbars.

In my experience, these days the unnecessary crap extensions are more junk from legitimate sources like antiviruses or Skype being added without prior consent.

Only find out about them when I see their icon in the browser or Chrome lets me know - thanks Google.

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FAIL

Re: Hey google

@MrDamage, Once you've gotten over your self righteous hissy-fit, remind me, who makes the decision about which browser to install on YOUR PC?

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Hallelujah!

The amount of time I have to remove crap like "Wajam" from peoples Chrome Extensions is mind boggling, sure they shouldn't be downloading every single thing they see on Facebook - but at least this will go some way to stopping hundreds of extensions they neither need or want bogging down Chrome.

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<quote>The amount of time I have to remove crap like...</quote>

So what particular reality are you where just because something is hosted only on Google's servers means it won't be crap? The only criteria will probably be "don't interfere with our ad stream", meaning anything resembling AdBlock will likely never make it, but that won't stop the "fart apps" from stinking up the browser.

For that matter, Wajam is ALREADY in the Chrome store. Meaning your Hallelujah is very misplaced.

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Do you understand that what you call crapware does exactly what BigG and Bing does?

Do you understand that in a Store-only model of distribution who control the store can preemptively kill any effort of enforcing user rights (i.e. Adblock) or even competition (i.e. will MS store be neutral on Office, IE and Skype competitors? will be Big G store be neutral on Chrome/GoogleApps competitors? will Apple store be neutral over iWorks competitors?)

Do you think a false sense of security (yes, false, you are going to be ad profiled and NSA spied, and it does not meet my definition of being secure!) worth your user rights AND the life of non-monopolistic capitalistic free market?

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May I present 2 pieces of Evidence your Honor? 1) The existing Google App store 2) Metro App Store

What's up on those pages?

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On Windows, group policies are just registry keys at specific locations.

If a user has admin rights on his computer, he can of course write the keys manually.

Problem solved.

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@JoeF

Indeed. To prevent updates, in the registry set:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Update\UpdateDefault

to the REG_DWORD value of "0".

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This is why...

I use Firefox.

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Re: This is why...

(same, plus the little triangle in the address bar. Ridiculously useful, I really miss it when I have to use Chrome)

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Re: This is why...

I agree. I resisted the urge to move to Chrome a few years back and the latest Firefox versions are very good. In fact in recent reviews I've seen, the latest Firefox build has shown to be faster and more stable than Chrome. Oh how the tables have turned compared with how sluggish Firefox used to be a few years back!

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Re: This is why...

"Oh how the tables have turned compared with how sluggish Firefox used to be a few years back!"

Interesting. That's exactly the reason I moved from Firefox to Chrome a while ago, seeing it getting progressively more slow and bloaty. Might be time for a revisit...

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Hmm

I have no problem with this as long as we can install extensions manually - I know it says it is blocking from a website (which I get - it stops potential malware being pushed from sites) - however if I cant use adblock plus then I WILL be moving away from Chrome and that is a shame as the last thing the internet needs right now is more people moving away from good standards compliant browsers.

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It's strictly meant to stem malicious downloads from the open internet.

Yeah. Right.

First of all, putting your apps in their story costs money. Currently just $5, but they can obviously increase that any time. Plus there are no doubt rules about what type of add-ons are permitted. Again, these probably aren't strict right now, but I expect ad blockers will be the first casualties.

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Distributing your Chrome Extension will cost in some form or fashion no matter what method, even if you're distributing it yourself on your own servers. Google won't want to piss off their developer community too much either by charging a ransom for freely distributed software, so I don't think the money is really much of a factor in this move.

I do however agree with your concern about what's allowed in their store, though. This maneuver is by their own admission an attempt to control what sort of extensions are published and used, even if they are only explicitly referring to malware. I too expect ad blockers to be among the next set of casualties, given that Google is first and foremost an ad broker.

Blocking ads is such a morally gray matter, given the Internet can't run for free, but the principle should encourage ad pushers to use less-annoying advertisements which people wouldn't bother to block in the first place. Instead, they seem to have taken the opposite approach overall, making them more "discoverable" to try to regain money lost on the people that use ad blockers. As it stands, using an ad blocker does increase your privacy due to the methods now used to target users, so that can be a deciding factor in just what shade of gray you see.

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Morally grey?

Blocking ads is such a morally gray matter, given the Internet can't run for free, but the principle should encourage ad pushers to use less-annoying advertisements which people wouldn't bother to block in the first place.

No, it's not grey. It's just you exercising your freedom of choice. If others doing the same causes certain organisations to cease to be profitable, they'll have to find another business model or cease trading. That's commercial life. Newspapers, other than freesheets, have now almost all gone subscription-only for their online editions, which is fine by me. I'd pay, if I needed access to their news to any significant extent. (I pay for Linux Weekly News).

Google may be planning to take away that particular freedom of choice from Chrome users. If I'd ever left Firefox, I'd be returning soon in response to this news.

Has anyone ever considered an ad-blocker that classified adverts, and allowed them through if they met the user's criteria for minimal annoyance? Or the same done manually (better - maybe?), funded by the responsible advertisers who don't want to be blocked only because of the irresponsible advertisers? Or an advert-server which guarantees no adverts that don't pass minimal-annoyance criteria?

Probably not, because most www users don't block ads and probably don't know that they can.

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Re: Morally grey?

Alternatively ... if website operators stopped being lazy and hosted their own ads rather than outsource it to <whoever> (thereby also giving up control over what appears), then much of the ad-blocker functionality would become redundant overnight...

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Internet should be considered a public utility

Internet should be considered a public utility.... and regulated. It should also be funded by the national budget. Receiving adds can be useful... but should be totally controlled by the user

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Re: Internet should be considered a public utility

Internet should be considered a public utility.... and regulated. It should also be funded by the national budget.

Whoo, boy, I can see it now - government-run porn sites! Would those be demonstrations of how we're being shafted by taxation?

How much freedom do you actually want? None?

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Re: Internet should be considered a public utility

How do you jump to the conclusion I'm suggesting the government run anything? Funding and running are separate functions. I'm proposing the infrastructure, including backbone, search engines, etc. should be regulated and publicly funded. Some content and hosts should have no public funding but still must follow applicable laws. Some content, like maybe libraries, should be totally funded, others maybe at least partially subsidized. And of course some, maybe most, enterprises find funding by their own means.

Advertisers should not get a free ride. They can use the internet, paying whatever tariffs necessary but any individual that uses this utility should have total control over what and how much, including none. Any opting in should follow clear guidelines.

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Bullshit

> that's because too many extension writers have been figuring out ways to evade Chrome's security measures

"Yes, dear beloved consumers, we are locking you in and depriving you of choice for your own good! This is all to make you so much safer, not at all to make it easier for us to monetize you!"

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Please support ethical and equal opportunity free enterprise and resist anti-competitive trade practices by considering another browser and/or search engine. There are thousands that respect your business and don't work with the government to illegally spy on you. It takes 5 minutes to change to a spy-free non-oligopoly way of life.

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Can't win either way ... the same know-it-alls like the author of this article would be criticizing google if the browser allowed malware-infected extensions to be installed from anywhere

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You mean, like Firefox does?

The principle is caveat emptor. Check out the credentials of the person or org offering the plug-in. Find some satisfied users. It's no different to any other software. Indeed, the principle was well-known to the Romans (hence the latin phrase), long before software existed. In "Alice in Wonderland" it was a bottle labelled "Drink Me" which Alice unwisely took at face value.

Consider also "A fool and his money are soon parted", and "nothing is proof against an exceedingly great fool".

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Anonymous Coward

And so it begins..

As I have said many times before, I see so much Microsoft strategy in this company it's becoming predictable.

Gain market with being "open" and "non-evil", then lock down once people have become dependent. New approach? Nah. BG has done this years ago. All I'm waiting for now is a proprietary file format and we're all set for a rerun..

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Great...

So I'm sitting behind a proxy that blocks access to the Chrome Store and soon I'll no longer be able to download select developer-friendly extensions, email them to myself and install them to help me work. It's not as if downloading from there is a guarantee of integrity to begin with. The Store's littered with adware-funded extensions that violate Google's own Ts and Cs (Superfish e.g. is spreading like a virus through the Store and causes fake 'voucher' offers to be injected into nearly every page).

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Zot
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How do people write these extensions?

There must be a way around the shop, otherwise how would you make an extension in the first place?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How do people write these extensions?

That question is answered in the article if you read it to the end

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How do people write these extensions?

If only they had mentioned it in the article!

> Finally, a Chrome browser that has been put into developer mode will still be able to load unpacked extensions from the local drive

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Go

No effect on chromium?

This has no effect on chromium, right?

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Well one simple answer

SWIron.

Chrome, but without Google spyware.

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I'll stop being annoyed with Google for self-serving crap like this when they and their fanpeople stop pretending they're champions of Open Source or more ethical than their rivals.

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The Future will be PERFECTLY SAFE

I see the future very clearly. There will be absolutely NO privacy. There will be absolutely NO security - no locks whatsoever, not on anything. Everyone will be able to exactly as they please to anything or anybody anytime anywhere.

Perfect safety! EVERYTHING being known, what is harmful will only be done once ever per perpetrator...

THAT is the solution.

Computer security is an oxymoron, get used to it!

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Re: The Future will be PERFECTLY SAFE

Exactly. You do not need security when _all_ your users are "educated properly".

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userscripts thread on topic...

http://userscripts.org/topics/113176‎

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Chrome Uninstalled today.

Chrome Uninstalled today. I have zero fucking patience with companies that think they can control me.

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Re: Chrome Uninstalled today.

Oh, but they CAN control you. This is simply a blunder on their side as they are not patient enough to constantly annoy you in small ways so you get used to it and do not uninstall their ad-ware "without considering the benefits". Have patience, have use-cases with monthly growing list of "malware, viruses, inapropriate content" that is being "removed" from their store, internet, world communication infrastructure or some other "important" places. Then more people will believe you and you can slip you BS under radar. Hell - google has been doing it for years. Just some middle manager who want to "double ad revenues within couple of quarters" so he can get a pay rise that has to screw the well oiled brain washing machine.

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My question is whether this only effects chrome, or any browser that uses the chrome source code. For example, I sue the torch browser, would it too be effected?

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