Google's Chrome leaves beta

December 12, 2008 | 09:08

Tags: #beta #browser #security #web

Companies: #chrome #google

In what must mark the shortest beta-to-release cycle for any Google product ever, the search giant has announced that its open-source browser Chrome has grown up enough to be called a fully-fledged 1.0 release.

According to CNet, the move to launch a full release of Chrome was announced as part of the Le Web 08 conference in Paris by vice president Marissa Mayer and confirmed by representatives from the firm yesterday. The move has surprised many Google-watchers, as it comes so soon – just 100 days – after the initial public beta was launched.

The new build is available directly from Google on the Chrome homepage, and a small quantity of existing Chrome users will receive it automatically via the internal update mechanism over the next few hours. Assuming that all goes well, the remainder of the estimated 10 million users will get the update automatically later today.

Google claims that this latest build of Chrome includes “tons and tons of bug fixes,” mainly centered around video and audio playback within the browser. The engine has also befitted from ongoing speed enhancements, with product development vice president Sundar Pichai claiming that this latest build is around 1.4 to 1.5 times faster than the original beta release of Chrome.

Add in to the mix improved bookmark management tools and security and privacy enhancements and you're looking at a far more polished product than the beta release, although even version 1.0 is missing some features many users consider must-haves in a web browser: autofill capabilities for web forms and support for RSS feeds within the browser. Pichai claims these are in the pipeline, however – along with official builds for Mac and Linux platforms.

Has its graduation to version 1.0 got you excited about Google's entry into the browser market, or are there still fundamental features that need to be added before you'd consider switching? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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