We've been hearing about Chrome Extensions since May, but after more than a year since the browser's first release Google has confirmed a public roll out isn't far away.
"During the last few months, our team has been working hard to support extensions in Google Chrome's beta channel," confirmed Google software engineer Lei Zheng in an official Chromium blog post entitled ‘Extension: One Step Closer to the finish Line'. "Today, we are getting one step closer to this goal. Developers can now upload their extensions to Google Chrome's extension gallery. We are making the upload flow available early to make sure that developers have the time to publish their extensions ahead of our full launch," he added.
Sadly Zeng didn't put a timeframe on the release, but Google is famous for dropping major new products and enhancements without warning so I'd be surprised if they don't appear by late December/January.
Chrome usage has grown steadily since its shock arrival and now has a healthy three per cent of the browser market. It has built a reputation based on pure speed, but the added functionality of extensions would certainly grab it a whole new audience - notably within the Firefox community.
Watch this space...
In related news Opera Unite has been formally integrated into the latest stable release of the Opera desktop browser. Version 10.10 brings this change which imitates a web server and enables users to host/share files and even create chatrooms within this free software. Hopefully Unite will see the browser finally improve on its traditionally minimal circa one per cent market share. Opera 10.10 is out today.