12/12/2008

Google Chrome Sheds BETA Label

GOOGLE CHROME Just 100 days after announcing (Google Chrome now live) the launch the beta version of Google Chrome, a departure from their normal practice, Google announced that they are taking off (Google Chrome BETA) the "beta" tag from Google Chrome.

We have removed the beta label as our goals for stability and performance have been met but our work is far from done. We are working to add some common browser features such as form autofill and RSS support in the near future. We are also developing an extensions platform along with support for Mac and Linux. If you are already using Google Chrome, the update system ensures that you get the latest bug fixes and security patches, so you will get the newest version automatically in the next few days. If you haven't used Google Chrome for a while, now might be a good time to give it another spin.

However, the announcement has evoked mixed reactions.

While the DOWNLOAD SQUAD wonders (Google Chrome hits1.0)

So why remove the beta label now, especially when the 4 year old Gmail service is still officially in beta? Well, the official explanation is because the company's goals for stability and performance have been met. But it also likely has something to do with Google's plans to convince hardware makers to preload the web browser on computers -- something they may be reluctant to do with beta software.

Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun Times smells “a greasy Googley rat” (Is Google's tarnished Chrome ready for primetime?).

If Google is taking Chrome out of beta this early, then it can have nothing to do with the browser’s features or its stability. It has everything to do with Google’s desire to turn Chrome into a serious challenger as quickly as possible. You can convince millions of individual users to download a free new browser that’s still in beta, sure. But you probably can’t convince a dozen manufacturers to ship millions of PCs out the door with Chrome pre-installed as the default browser unless it’s been officially stamped Finished, Done, Released, Stable.

Whatever be the motive, a new ‘stable’ browser is certainly good for the user.