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Google warns Chrome Canary is only for the brave

Who wants a highly unstable browser which will often break entirely?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google is calling on extremely brave individuals to test drive the so-called Canary build of its Chrome browser.

Not content with pushing out dev channel builds on an almost weekly basis, Mountain View is now slinging very rough-round-the-edges code onto the interwebs for lone rangers who are happy to tinker with a “highly unstable browser that will often break entirely”.

Google released its experimental Canary build last week, but presumably take-up has been sluggish, as the ad broker effectively pinged readers of its Chromium blog with a reminder yesterday.

At the other end of the scale, Chrome coders have committed themselves to releasing stable versions of the browser every six weeks or so.

So the MV Chocolate Factory has really cranked up production in an effort to get as many different flavours of its browser as possible aired in public, no matter how whiffy some versions of Chrome may be.

It’s an interesting tactic, but at the same time is characteristic of Google’s development process. The company likes its live products to hang around in beta for an age. However, when it’s strayed from sharing its dog food online, Google has faced problems, such as with its privacy-lite Buzz.

“We plan to update the Canary build more frequently than the Dev channel, with riskier changes, and usually without a human being ever verifying that it works, so the Canary build is only for users who want to help test Google Chrome and are comfortable using a highly unstable browser that will often break entirely,” noted Google’s Chrome product manager Henry Bridge.

“To enable you to continue using the same browser you love when the canary croaks, we’ve made it possible to install the Canary build in addition to the Dev, Beta or Stable channel versions of Google Chrome.”

The Canary build is only currently available for Windows and cannot be set as a user’s default browser, said Google. It did not say when a version would be released for Mac and Linux fans. ®

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