Google announced today through the Chromium blog that it will only let Windows PC users install Chrome browser extensions through the official Chrome Web Store starting in January 2014, citing security reasons. The company points to “malicious extensions” that bundle dangerous unseen extensions into harmless ones, saying that the most frequent complaint Google gets from Windows PC users regarding Chrome is malicious software changing settings in their browser.
For the most part, the Chrome Web Store is the best place to find browser extensions anyway, so this isn’t that big a problem. Until January, Chrome will continue to support all extensions and apps, but Google recommends developers who haven’t already should move their extensions over as soon as possible to avoid any hiccups when the new rules go into effect next year.
Google owns Chrome, so technically it has any right to do what it wants with Chrome extensions. Either way, it sounds like you’ll have a safer browsing experience in the future.