With the upcoming release of Chrome 33, Google has announced that it will block all local browser extensions on Windows. While Windows users have been able to install unofficial apps in the past, this change will restrict them to using apps found on the Chrome Web Store instead.
The change should not be too big a surprise for anyone following Google’s announcements closely; the company originally announced this change in their policies in November 2013, however they have not kept to the schedule they originally intended. While Chrome 33’s beta test was released last month, the update is not widespread, and no stable version of the browser is expected to be released to the general public until early March.
What this change basically means for Windows-based Chrome users is that they will only be able to select extensions which are available on the Chrome Web Store. The only exceptions to this policy are for installations completed via developer mode or Chrome’s enterprise policy. Similarly, any installed extensions which were not hosted on the Chrome Web Store will be turned off by Google and will not be available to reinstall.