Google's Chrome web browser has been actively attempting to protect its users since inception, which is a tall order given today's climate. While blocking certain things is easy, protecting customers from their own mistakes is much more difficult.
Now the company is announcing a new way to do exactly that, letting it be known that users will no longer be able to install extensions from any location other than the approved Web Store. "From now on, to protect Windows users from an attack, extensions can be installed only if they're hosted on the Chrome Web Store. With this change, extensions that were previously installed may be automatically disabled and cannot be re-enabled or re-installed until they're hosted in the Chrome Web Store", says Eric Kay, an engineering director with the search giant.
This isn't the end of the road for developers. Google promises to continue support for local installation during the development and testing phases for all extensions. These folks will also be able to make use of what Google terms a "dedicated installation flow" from their own sites by using Inline Installations.
Attempting to protect users from themselves is a tall order, but this takes one step in the right direction. It will, hopefully, cut down on such things as browser hijackers that change homepages and search engines, but can also do much worse.