Google Chrome claims its edge in battle of the browsers

12 Dec 2008

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Google has claimed that in the 100 days since it unveiled the beta version of its Google Chrome browser, it has attracted more than 10 million active users on all seven continents.

Since its release, Google has released 14 updates to the product, and as of today, the company is removing the ‘beta’ label from the browser.

“Google Chrome is a better browser today, thanks to the many users who sent their feedback, and the many more who enabled automatic crash reports, helping us rapidly diagnose and fix issues,” said Sundar Pichai, vice-president of product management at Google.

Among the problems that had to be fixed during the beta period were video and audio glitches.

One of the early distinguishing factors about Google Chrome was the speed of the browser in terms of scripting, and Google says this has been boosted 1.4 times faster on the SunSpider benchmark and 1.5 times faster on the V8 benchmark. “And there’s more speed to come,” Pichai said.

Bookmark features were a top request from early adopters, and Google’s engineers have made it easier to switch between another browser and Chrome with bookmark import and export features.

“We also wanted to make it even easier for you to control your browsing data, so all of the features in Google Chrome that affect user privacy are now grouped in one place, with detailed explanations for each one.”

Security was a prime factor in the creation of Chrome, and Pichai said that Chrome’s sandbox technology creates an additional layer of defence against harmful software, while the safe-browsing feature provides protection against phishing and malware attacks that dog browser users.

“We have removed the beta label as our goals for stability and performance have been met, but our work is far from done,” Pichai said.

He said Google is working to add some common browser features, such as form autofill and RSS support in the near future.

Google is also developing an extensions platform along with support for Mac and Linux.

By John Kennedy

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com