If there seems to be one feature that is making users switch to Chrome then it appears to be the introduction of third party extensions. Well, expect a whole lot more to move now...
Previously just the luxury of those prepared to use the latest beta version of the lightning quick browser, Google has now brought them to everyone with the release of Chrome v4.0. A mixture of alerts (such as Google Mail Checker Plus), clients (like Chrowety for Twitter) and even entire stripped down websites (as in the case of Wikipedia Companion, Facebook To-Go and Mini Google Maps to name but a few), Chrome now totals more than 1500 extensions and adds a degree of flexibility only surpassed by Firefox. That said, unlike Mozilla's browser, installation of Chrome's extensions don't require a restart and don't appear to affect performance.
Speaking of which, Chrome 4.0 also brings major speed improvements with claims of a whopping 42 per cent boost over 3.x (it was already one of the fastest browsers around), plus the introduction of new HTML5 APIs, the Firefox killer feature smart keywords and the extremely handy real-time bookmark synchronisation functionality that has been knocking around in beta for some time.
Yep, all in all, this is a major upgrade to a browser which was already making friends and influencing people and I must admit it does make the updates in Firefox 3.6 seem a little lame by comparison. On the downside, at this stage only Windows users will get Chrome v4.0 without beta tags, though Linux users have access to them in beta. Meanwhile Mac owners - as often tends to be the way - will have to wait for now.
With the might of Google behind it, who knows where Chrome will go from here...?
In related news Google Reader can now create RSS feeds for sites even if they don't have them! This rather clever tweak is under the "Add a subscription" link where a new link: "create a feed" now resides. Funky.