Google’s Chrome out of beta, but only Windows-friendly

December 11, 2008

Google has decided its Chrome Web browser is all grown up-or. Or at least it has outgrown its beta label.

Google launched its fifteenth release of Chrome on Thursday morning, marking the browser’s first step outside the test phase. After absorbing 101 days of user feedback, Google says the latest version is equipped with improved audio and video performance, bookmark features and privacy controls.

Google tests show Chrome runs 1.5 times faster than when the browser first launched in September, according to a Google spokesperson.

Chrome is Google’s head-on challenge to Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox and, of course, Microsoft’s juggernaut Internet Explorer, which has over 70 percent of the browser market. Chrome has 10 million active users world wide, according to Google.

If you’re a Mac user, you’ll still have to wait to use Chrome (or snag one of your friends’ Windows-supported laptops in the meantime), which makes it curious that Google took Chrome out of its beta phase so soon. The Internet giant is working hard to release a Mac and Linux version of Chrome as soon as possible, according to the Google spokesperson.

It’s still unclear if Chrome has the heft to overcome its rivals, but the browser is off to a good start as it took 1 percent of the global browser market within a day of its launch, according to Web traffic analysis company StatCounter. Chrome is likely to get a boost in traffic once its Mac version is released.

Now that Chrome is out of its beta phase, do you think it will threaten Microsoft’s dominance in the browser market? And, most importantly, will you switch from your current browser to Chrome?

(Reporting by Jennifer Martinez)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

I really like Chrome. I am looking forward to getting the Linux version since that is my preferred OS.

Posted by Kelvin | Report as abusive

What I want to know is how is Chrome out of Beta & not Gmail?

Posted by Kristen | Report as abusive

Best to just stick with firefox

Posted by Stop Smoking | Report as abusive

“High Plains Drifter” by Tim Shey

Posted by Tim Shey | Report as abusive

Microsoft is now on the decline. Don’t know how long it will take but Google Chrome will get the first place someday.

Posted by F. Goldwater | Report as abusive

I’ve already switched and after a few minutes of use and getting to know the browser, I really like it. You go where you want to go with a click and it has a clean and simple look to it.

I changed over from IE about 2 years ago and I have not looked back since.

Way to go – Chrome!!!

Posted by Nana | Report as abusive

I love chrome, it is faster, more stable.. and it makes me feel better about not supporting the microsoft monopoly of the market..

Posted by Omar | Report as abusive

[…] a browserului Chrome, prima care marcheaza iesirea browserului din faza de teste, informeaza Reuters, care citeaza anuntul facut pe blogul oficial al Google. Dupa 100 de zile de la lansarea pe piata in […]

Posted by Google Chrome a iesit din teste, dar e disponibil momentan doar pe Windows | ShowBiz | Report as abusive

Very nice and unique.

Posted by Canada HiTech | Report as abusive

My Firefox takes at least 2-3 minutes to load and allow me to click a bookmark. Off to Chrome I go! It Screams!

Posted by Ted | Report as abusive

Firefox is still the best. Chrome still lacks those powerful add ons that I use on a regular basis. Until chrome comes up with something equivalent I am sticking to Firefox.

Posted by Amit | Report as abusive

I made it my default browser the very first day the beta version was released. I have had it like that since then, and apart from occasional crashes and annoyances such as not being able to “Open” a file instead of “Saving” it, and websites which check your browser’s version often not loading properly, it works like a charm. Good job, Google.

Posted by Suzie | Report as abusive

“I love chrome, it is faster, more stable.. and it makes me feel better about not supporting the microsoft monopoly of the market..
– Posted by Omar”

I like the way you’re thinking — replacing one monopoly for another. For as long as Firefox is around, it will continue to be my go-to browser.

Posted by Gjergj | Report as abusive

speed ,speed and once againe speed…this is what we need..and later couple more apps and widgets

Posted by robert | Report as abusive

I have used chrome and boy is it FAST! It’s at least twice as fast as internet explorer! I have switched to chrome ever since and said goodbye to internet explorer. I just don’t know why they are getting increasingly slower! I don’t know what is the problem with microsoft! They need a lot of caching up to do.

Posted by Mamun | Report as abusive

I’ve tried Chrome and I like a lot of the features but it is too streamlined for me. I like having a Google search box in my toolbar and I can’t seem to find it on Chrome. Which is beyond odd since Chrome is by Google. If anybody knows how to put a Google search box into Chrome’s toolbar please post a reply. Thanks!

Posted by Alisa | Report as abusive

I am concerned about Google using my browser stats. . .a privacy concern. . .not happy with Firefox’s new drop-down addy bar that keeps a record that Clean Up and C Cleaner don’t / can’t delete.

Privacy,it’s what concern’s me and I am a granny who doesn’t do anything even remotely naughty or ill-advised on the computer. Why should anyone know what shops I surf? Grandkids can see the pages I purchased their presents on. . . . I will either hack the registry or revert to Firefox 2

Posted by ellie | Report as abusive

I dont know, both Chrome and IE 8 Beta 2 launhc in about the same time, and I have some IE 8 plugins enabled. But I do like Chrome

Posted by Phil | Report as abusive

Security, Security, Security. Firefox is the best browser so far. Coupled with NOSCRIPT add-on, I have piece of mind surfing the web. Until Chrome comes up with a feature to turn and off Javascript, Java & other elements like NOSCRIPT does, I am sticking with firefox.

And by the way the new Firefox beta 3.1 has faster Javascript engine called Tracemonkey is many times faster than Chrome’s V8

Posted by jay | Report as abusive

Chrome is great, I just hope it doesn’t become bloated over subsequent releases like some of the other open source offerings. Really like it tho

Posted by Mac | Report as abusive

The folks commenting here seem to have a distinct knowledge of the field, and their opinions are probably a good indicator of the reliability of the products mentioned. That said, I don’t think that your average Joe or Jane is ever going to care that much about the intricacies of their browser, and will stick with Microsoft in the long run.

Posted by Jay | Report as abusive

I’m sticking with Firefox. It has never failed on me and I have all my bookmarks are favorites on there. I have also heard that Google uses your data to get you “pertinent ads”. No thanks.

Posted by Diggerjohn | Report as abusive

I think for the most part, the Google-heads, techies and true nerds are the ones for now that are going to switch over. I for one, love using the innovations that Google releases, and am a fan of Google as a successful company and as a story of American success.

I think the browser has a couple things going for it…
The ability to maintain its clean design while at the same time providing powerful and comprehensive functionality. The only problem I have come across, and it may be related to my system was the random “Popping” out of my tab when I would switch over to chrome from another application. The tab that I click to rollover to chrome sometimes pops out.
The other problem that I expierence randomly is the slow, curtain fall style loading of pages. Randomly through out the day, I will click over to a tab, and this slow, waterfall like effect takes over, as the page slowly loads and reveals itself from top to bottom.

That so far has been the two things that have bothered me most. The boomarking is fine, and I enjoy the clean interface it provides, and the movable tabs.

Posted by Jeremy | Report as abusive

The success of chrome will mainly depend on whether the developers manage to devise software that allows the user to load flash animations faster than with competing browsers.

Posted by Peter Melzer | Report as abusive


The chrome application itself is the search bar….just type your search query in the space for the url and thats how you get your google results!….space saving cleverness, cant wait for mac version as firefox 3 is horrendous, truly.

Posted by Anthony M | Report as abusive

To Elle: “I am a granny who doesn’t do anything even remotely naughty or ill-advised on the computer … I will either hack the registry or revert to Firefox 2″

Doesn’t compute … a granny that hacks the registry? You must be a very computer literate granny … kudos to you.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

I like FF better because I can use AdBlocker to filter out annoying ads,banners, and pictures. I’ll consider Chrome when a plug-in like AdBlocker is available for it – although the chance of that is highly unlikely because Chrome is from Google and Google gets its revenues from ads.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

I have not swifted my Fireforx browser to Google’s Chrome but most of my colleages have. Their comments focus on the improved audio and video performance, bookmark features and privacy controls. And I am thinking about swifting one to have a try.

Posted by beijing classifieds | Report as abusive

Chrome is a nice concept. I’m using it every day for work without problems. Much faster than FF.

Posted by dH | Report as abusive