Google Chrome now out of beta
At LeWeb Marissa Mayer confessed to Michael Arrington that Chrome would come out of beta very soon. And if Mayer says it will be soon, she really means soon. A good listener could have heard she meant 'tomorrow'.
Today Google announces the take off of the "beta" label for Chrome. After the beta launch on September 2nd getting the browser out of beta within 100 days is very fast, considering some Google products are still not out of beta.
Mayer yesterday gave us a fine insight in the wat Google looks at getting products out of beta. When a product is server-side, like GMail, there are no real 'rules' for when a product goes out of beta. When a product is software however (like Chrome) Google will try to get it out of beta as soon as possible.
So what changed when getting Chrome out of beta?
At launch the browser was very fast from scratch on but wasn't as stable as it could be. Besides that Chrome wasn't ready for all sorts of plugins. These things are now fixed according to the development team. They also claim that the browser has gotten even faster and will get even more faster in the coming updates. It's hard to measure the difference, but the browser is still very fast.
You would say that bookmarks are getting less important with all the online bookmark-applications. However Chrome-users asked for better bookmark-management in Chrome. Google wouldn't be Google if you couldn't seach through your bookmarks. Other features in the management of bookmarks are browsing the bookmarks, move bookmarks or folders around and more. One feature is not there: the availability of your bookmarks online.
Another hot issue is privacy. Google gets a lot of questions about that topic so they have made a special page on that in their help-section. Google has provided opt-outs for every feature, but also mentions that all "features are usually turned on by default". With that it makes sure that all those users who are ignorant of the privacy-issues will have their features turned on so Google can gather all the information.
Chrome is now ready for others to make extensions and plugins. Plugins have made Firefox the second most used browser around. Chrome wants that position so plugins are inevitable. Google is therefore working on a extensions platform with support for Mac and Linux.
Google says its not ready yet with improving the browser. It has taken down the beta label because they feel the stability and performance has increased to an acceptable level.
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