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Google removes Chrome beta wrapping

As Linux, Mac versions remain MIA

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Google has brought Chrome out of beta just three months after it released the open source browser that currently only plays nice with Windows.

It's a break with tradition because the internet giant is notoriously reluctant to remove the beta tag from new products. Googlemail, for example, remains in beta years after it was first released.

Google said in a statement yesterday that it was “excited” to have removed the beta label from Chrome after it spat out the fifteenth update to the browser since its debut just 100 days ago.

But many are likely to view the decision as a bold and even stupid move, because the development of Chrome in many ways remains in flux, and it can only be used by Windows customers at present.

Google was at pains to address its critics: “We have removed the beta label as our goals for stability and performance have been met but our work is far from done,” said Mountain View’s product manager Sundar Pichai and engineering director Linus Upson in a joint statement.

“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.”

However, the company didn’t reveal when those versions of the browser will land for all you non-Microsoft lovers out there.

Google claimed that in the three months since Chrome landed, over 10 million “active users” worldwide have downloaded the browser.

The firm insists that now is the right time to remove the stabilisers from Chrome. Google said it has improved performance of plugins including video and audio flaws that many have loudly grumbled about.

“If you had problems watching videos with Google Chrome in the past, you should be pleasantly surprised with the performance now,” said Pichai and Upson.

Of course, as was widely noted earlier this week, Google's decision to scrap the beta tag also underscores its desire to woo OEMs, who can now offer the beefed up browser to their customers. ®

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