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Chrome Leaving Beta, Being Preloaded Onto PCs

Gordon Kelly


Chrome Leaving Beta, Preloading Onto PCs

What's this? A Google app that isn't going to sit in beta for five years...?

Yep, unlike Gmail (technically it is four years nine months), it seems Google is fast tracking its Chrome browser to the scary 1.0 milestone just nine weeks since its original launch.

Speaking to Le Web 08, Google VP Marissa Mayer confirmed this radical change of approach saying the motivation behind it was to enable OEMs to ship Chrome preinstalled on PCs. Apparently no beta software of any kind is allowed to go onto commercial systems - a rule that's a new one on me.

Now while Google's browser has impressed us all, not least in our Chrome First Impressions this is still surprising news. After all - as of 11 December - the current version of Chrome is just '' which sounds a fair way from fully baked to me, especially considering some of the considerable security indexing problems it suffered in its first month.

That said, this does illustrate a new ruthlessness in Google which has been building since the launch of Android and with a new desktop Android release potentially in the works too it seems the search giant is at long last about to make a much anticipated move to usurp Windows on multiple form factors.

Roll on 2009!


via Le Web 08


December 11, 2008, 4:12 pm

Now, if they get the bookmarks sorted, mouse gestures implemented & some form of Adblocker, I'll be very happy!

I'm sure we'll see none of that for sometime though as they'll spent their time and resources fixing bugs and making it stable...


December 11, 2008, 4:19 pm

@Steve - agreed on all points, which is why I'm surprised this has come so early...


December 11, 2008, 4:23 pm

I like Chrome's speed and the fact that each Tab/Window is treated as a separate process but I am still waiting for Google Toolbar and other Firefox niceties before I switch to Chrome.


December 11, 2008, 4:32 pm

Hurray, another browser for web developers to look out for.

Unfortunately I just didn't like the UI, so couldn't get into using it.


December 11, 2008, 5:18 pm

Chrome has introduced some great ideas (sandboxing tabs in separate processes; thumbnails for frequently visited sites; the V8 JavaScript engine; the Omnibox; local capture of search boxes; etc.) but it really isn't polished enough to be hitting 1.0 status. It seems to be quite stable, but has only been around a few weeks, and with things like the credit card number / internet banking indexing fiasco I wouldn't use it in a production environment just yet.

Chris Beach

December 11, 2008, 5:20 pm

another point to remember that removing the beta tag doesn't automagically improve the code!

Tbh I've been using chrome since its release, and have 0 problems with it. Works great on my netbook due to the efficient interface, works great on my desktop. Adblock would be nice, but with its speed its less noticeable than IE or firefox.


December 11, 2008, 6:29 pm

Well IE 7 does fine for me, adblock not a problem the pages would look even duller without ads and you don't have to click on them. Firedfox runs like bloatware for me and Google I just can never love the brand, look at their site and core product its so cheap and nasty, searching has never been such a fundamentally stripped down and dull affair.

That said I do "Google" out of bad habit and Gmail makes an excellent junk mail store, so chrome is a browser, well I never knew that, what fantastic experience could await me.


December 11, 2008, 6:37 pm


You like Toolbars? Ban request!

On a different note, I've just installed IE8 for testing purposes at work and TrustedReviews is a horror show with all these flashing banner adverts! It's things like this that makes me appreciate Firefix, despite its flaws. If Chrome can tap in to the add-on scene to allow the creators of popular add-ons like Adblock create Chrome versions, it will be a smash hit.

Gavin Hamer

December 11, 2008, 7:37 pm

I'll eat my hat if any form of ad-block ever makes it onto Chrome. In fact, I think that is a large part of the point of Chrome existing in the first place. Google pay most of the wages at Mozilla, remember, but they didn't have enough control of that project. They aren't stupid enough to shoot down their own advertising revenue, or allow anyone else to on their browser. Unless, of course, they block all ads except Google ads...

I'm generally using Chrome because it's noticeably quicker than Firefox. I have seen many adverts that I never knew existed while I was using FF+AdBlock. These flashing animated monstrosities are mildly annoying, so it's a choice between annoying and basic, but fast - or slower and comfy.

Hamish Campbell

December 11, 2008, 7:58 pm

I'm struggling to see any speed difference between firefox and chrome.

Are there actually any benchmarks on this? I find firefox, chrome and safari pretty quick nowadays after the latest round of preformance improvements, and even IE7 ain't thaaat bad. Maybe heavy javascript is an issue that won't be quicker in firefox till next release?

Figure Opera is also suitably snappy, before any operangelist takes a swipe.


December 11, 2008, 8:33 pm

@halm - Extremetech recently carried out a browser speed test round-up:


It's by no means 100% accurate or very comprehensive, but it's the first one that sprang to mind. Maybe this could be something for a future TR article?


December 11, 2008, 9:59 pm

I had Chrome crash on me some three or four times today - while simply trying to close it with *just* my home page (Google) open. Quite why chrome thought clicking on the close button, or hitting alt-f4, was a prompt to sit doing nothing I don't know. Beta it certainly still should be, though, if you ask me.

Gavin Hamer

December 11, 2008, 11:27 pm

I like that browser speed article, very nice. I use a lot of javascript heavy sites, including GMail, so it does make sense. Although my Firefox is probably slower than that test because it's laden with a gazillion geeky plugins. (gazillion = 15 - their value is on the slide)


December 12, 2008, 2:11 am

In terms of speed and UI, there is simply nothing that can beat Chrome.

However, what is funny, is even though Chrome is out of Beta. It doesn't look like anything at all has been added.

The most popular email service in the world for instance still does not allow you to write emails from Chrome.


December 12, 2008, 1:44 pm

If they ever get Spybot to immunise Chrome i'll give it a go, meantime i'll stick with FF on my EEE and IE on my desktop.

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