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Google Says Chrome Browser Extension Imminent

Gordon Kelly


Chrome Extensions Imminent, Unite Hits Opera 10.10

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.


Chrome Extensions Blog Post

Opera 10.10


November 24, 2009, 6:52 pm

Great stuff, be able to put Advert&Flash blocker on. There are some websites out there that overdo it slightly with advertising.

Dark of Day

November 24, 2009, 7:57 pm

Fantastic browser that Opera is, it will always struggle to gain ground if the best coverage the formal release of a major feature warrants is a footnote in a gossip/filler article about another browser.


November 24, 2009, 8:13 pm

I wonder if TR keep a track of how many of their visitors are using some kind of Flash blocker? I can see 4 right now as I type this in Chrome... can't wait for the extensions!


November 24, 2009, 9:04 pm

@Gordon Perfect timing!!!


Some websites must surely include TR. I've given up extensions since switching from FireFox to Chrome but AdBlock Plus is the one I really miss.


November 24, 2009, 9:44 pm

I switched to the DEV channel last month just so I could make use of extensions like FlashBlock and LastPass. It's been very stable and I couldn't imagine dropping back to a non-extension version.

Go Dev!


November 24, 2009, 11:30 pm

"its traditionally minimal circa one per cent market share"

Say what?

Opera has 3-4% market share globally, and is approaching 10% in Europe.


November 24, 2009, 11:51 pm

@Napi - not on current counts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...


November 25, 2009, 2:42 am

That page is basically useless because it doesn't even filter out the bad stats. Even Net Applications, which has a history of being very negative about Opera and consistently under-reporting them is showing Opera above 2%.


November 25, 2009, 3:12 am

Also, Opera is currently the dominant mobile browser with a nearly 30 percent market share:



November 25, 2009, 6:11 am

Napi is correct. Opera might have only 1-2% in the US, but much more in the EU, especially in eastern Europe for some reason...


November 25, 2009, 6:31 am

@Napi appreciate the mobile stats, but they make up just a fraction of the overall browser market. Opera was wise and quickly got into the mobile space though I suspect this share will decrease over time with iPhone OS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry OS, Symbian, etc all now having a primary focus on developing their own native browers

@whitespace we've not breaking it down by region, but I'll happily see the stats if you can provide them ;)

In fact, if you'd both like to track down multiple sources for global Opera web browser market share I'll happily take a look. What is most significant however is Opera has made web browsers for 13 years and accrued circa 1 to 2 per cent of the market and Chrome has been around 12 months and attained nearly 4 per cent. I've nothing against Opera, but that's not a great statistic.


November 25, 2009, 10:17 am

@Gordon I wrote "much more in the EU" earlier and that was a slightly exaggerated statement. I'm not an Opera fanboy, while it's the browser i use the most I'm aware of it's faults and I've got Firefox and Chrome as backups. Whether this and that browser has got + or - 1% isn't really that important. As long as people are aware of application alternatives available when it comes to browsing the web. I guess that my point is that statistics lie, and as long as IE's market share keep dropping I'll be happy. Speed, features, security and support for web standards is something we all want, right?


November 25, 2009, 10:19 am

@whitespace - I'm in 100% agreement with you. We'd see much better web development if Chrome, Firefox and Opera dominated the market and IE made up 1% - fact.


November 25, 2009, 12:46 pm

@Gordon, if what you said about the mobile market was true, Opera would already have dereased because Android, iPhone, etc. have been out for a long time. However, Opera's position in the mobile market only keeps getting stronger for some reason.

The problem with browser stats, though, is that they are highly unreliable. For example, people keep quoting Net Applications, but they fail to realize that Net Applications has been changing its stats (current and historical) every now and then, basically admitting that their methodology is broken.


November 25, 2009, 12:51 pm

Oh, and regarding Chrome vs. Opera:

Opera has only been free of charge for 3-4 years. Not 13 years. You can't really count all the years you had to pay for it because it clearly didn't aim for market share back then.

Also, even more interesting is that stats providers have been reporting Chrome as having a higher market share than Opera even though Opera had more users than Chrome (Opera reported 40 million users, and Google reported 30 million users for Chrome, and yet Chrome's market share was twice that of Opera's?? Huh??). What's up with that? Clearly something is very wrong here, so trusting these stats seems a bit weird.

And finally, Chrome has actually done extremely poorly if you consider the fact that Google is an online advertising giant, and they have been pushing Chrome HARD all over the place, including everywhee on sites like YouTube, and the front page of google.com! All that advertising, and Chrome still hasn't put a dent in Firefox's market? That's pretty bad if you ask me.

So the situation says more about the broken market than about Opera. So "not a great statistic"? Yeah, first of all we don't actually know the real stats, and secondly, the market is clearly broken in some way since Chrome has failed despite Google putting all its advertising resources behind it.

How is someone like Opera, without an ad monopoly, going to get anywhere when even Google can't? It's surprising that Opera even exists, but the fact is that Opera's user base has doubled in the last 2 years according to their financial reports.


November 25, 2009, 3:10 pm

Also doesn't Chrome have an option to pretend to be another browser, if so wound't this put the statistics out?


November 25, 2009, 10:00 pm

No, Chrome doesn't do that I think.

Opera does have an option to do that. Apparently it has to pretend to be a different browser for hundreds of major sites.

No wonder Opera is under-represented in the stats. It's forced to pretend to be other browsers!

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