Google's browser, take 4

Google releases version 4.0 of its Chrome browser, which officially brings browser add-ons to Windows users.

If you're the experimental sort of computer user who feels comfortable trying out beta software and development versions, you may have been playing around with extensions to Google's Chrome browser for a while now. However, if you're not an early adopter--and no shame if you're not--the latest stable version, Chrome 4.0, is now available. That means those browser add-ons are yours to explore, without the warning notifications of assumed risk that came with earlier releases. Don't forget, it's the add-ons like AdBlock Plus and FoxyTunes that gave Firefox the fuel to challenge Internet Explorer's hegemony. CNET reporter Stephen Shankland has the full story on Chrome's update.

(Chrome 4.0 also rolls in bookmark sync, boosts performance, and adds HTML5 features.)

Back in December, we did present you with some of the best extensions on tap for the then-beta and development versions of Chrome. Check out what to expect before you extend Chrome's browser capabilities.

If news of Google's advancement in the browser space doesn't put a smile on your face, you'll be able to at least enjoy the schadenfreude of Editor Seth Rosenblatt's picks of the five "worst" downloads of 2009 (video). We're not going to give them away here, but we will say that some of these programs are pretty well-known--and may even surprise you.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.