Google just released a new version of the Chrome Beta desktop web browser that makes some pretty nice enhancements, including a move that is aimed at protecting users from adware. Namely, the Windows version of Chrome will now automatically disable extensions that may have been added inadvertently by third-party software, without users’ proper consent or even awareness.

According to Google, “The original intent was to give people an option to add useful extensions when installing applications, but unfortunately this feature has been widely abused by third parties who added extensions without user consent.” This has been a huge problem on Windows machines for quite a while (I can’t tell you how many toolbars I used to remove in Internet Explorer), and it’s nice to see Google doing something about it in its own browser. Luckily, Chrome will also show a notification when disabling these extensions, just in case the user wants to keep any of them active.

In addition to this, Google has included a new “Web Speech API” for developers to begin creating new interactive web apps that make use of Google’s speech recognition technology. (You can demo this new API here.)

Overall, both of these changes are welcome improvements, building on the strong foundation that Google has already built, and making the Chrome browser even better. If you’re not on the beta channel already, it’s really easy to switch – just download and install, and you’re ready to go!

[Google]