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Google spins out Chrome 2.0 pre-beta alpha

Mac and Linux versions might finally leave forecourt

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Google has released an alpha of Chrome 2.0, even though work on version 1.0 of the browser remains incomplete.

The unpolished Chrome 2.0 rocked up in the early hours of today and comes loaded with the latest WebKit release that adds support for various CSS functions and speed improvements.

Spell checking can now be enabled or disabled in a text field with a simple click of the mouse. More language support has been added for the function too.

The browser also comes with the form autocomplete feature which remains missing in action in Chrome 1.0. It landed in September last year and had the beta tag removed in uncharacteristically speedy fashion by Google last month.

That’s despite the fact that the Mac and Linux versions of the open source browser remain notably absent.

Google’s release notes for the Chrome 2.0 pre-beta offer some hints about when those versions might arrive, however.

Chrome 2.0 uses a new network code that might mean fanboys and gals will finally get their mitts on the Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer rival.

It now has its own implementation of the HTTP network protocol, said Google. The internet giant was previously using the WinHTTP library on Windows, thereby inadvertently shunning Mac and Linux because of the lack of common code.

“We fixed a few bugs in HTTP authentication and made Google Chrome more compatible with servers that reply with invalid HTTP responses,” said the company. “We need feedback on anything that's currently broken, particularly with proxy servers, secure (https) sites, and sites that require log in.”

So there you have it, perhaps the wait is nearly over for Mactards and Linux lovers keen to Google the web via Google’s browser. ®

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