Everything online today is about customization and options. The world doesn't need 100,000 iPhone apps and developers aren't stopping any time soon, so people seem to be gobbling it up. Yet, you can't really hope to compete in the smartphone market without apps and lots of them. The same is true for browsers, having a great browser isn't enough, just look at Opera, you need to have the apps, or in this particular case the add-ons. Now it looks like Google Chrome may be getting serious about add-ons, something that many have been wanting since launch, with the impending launch of a dedicated extensions gallery.
DownloadSquad spotted that Google has just changed the link at the corner of the new tab page to direct to an extensions gallery. Up till now, the corner had been used to get people acquainted with the theme gallery launched a few months ago. The graphic design of the corner has also been updated to suggest the change.
The site itself https://chrome.google.com/extensions isn't live yet and the link redirects to the Google start page. Of course, any link with chrome.google.com in the URL redirects to google.com, so that in itself doesn't mean anything. What's more, the corner link hasn't changed in the latest dev build of Google Chrome 18.104.22.168, but DownloadSquad seems to be using Chromium, the open-source project on which Chrome is based and that is usually packing bleeding-edge code.
This is the same route that Google followed when it launched the online themes gallery last summer. The design elements and menu items for theme management were the first to come, accompanied by the proper launch of the gallery a couple of days later. Extensions though are a much bigger deal that themes.
Firefox owes a huge deal of its success on the number of add-ons which became available for the browsers and, if Chrome wants to have any chance at gaining significant market share, extensions are going to play an important role. Chrome has had experimental support for third-party extensions for months, but it looks like they've only now reached maturity and Google may be launching the online gallery ahead of the introduction of extension support in the Chrome beta channel.