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Google takes Chrome browser out of beta

12 декабря 2008

Google has taken its browser Chrome out of beta status, paving the way for the software to be pre-installed on new computers next year.

The move out of beta – which indicates that software is usable but may have bugs – means that Chrome is considered fully functional and can be considered by OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) such as Hewlett-Packard or Dell as part of the bundle of software included on laptops and other PCs.

Dennis Woodside, UK managing director of Google, told the Financial Times earlier this year that Chrome would “definitely” come pre-installed with a major OEM in early 2009, but would not be drawn on the manufacturer.

Dell, the world’s second-largest PC maker has said it is in talks with Google about pre-installed components. The deal with Dell to supply the Google toolbar, a pre-installed search function in rival browser Internet Explorer, expires in January.

The Chrome announcement was preceded by Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice-president, hinting week at a conference in Paris that the browser would be declared fully functional soon.

The move out of beta is swift for a Google product. Googlemail, the company’s e-mail service, is still labelled beta despite being launched in 2004 and having millions of users.

The significance of browsers is increasing as more and more software applications are delivered via the web, and the success of those applications depends on how well browsers can handle the programming code. For instance, Google Docs, a free rival to Microsoft’s Office, runs directly in the browser, and requires javascript to work.

Chrome has not made big inroads in the browser market, in spite of excellent reviews of the speed that it renders web pages, and in particular javascript, the language that many web-based applications use.

The browser has failed to break 1 per cent of market share of internet users, gaining 0.78 per cent in September on its release, falling to 0.74 per cent in October and rising to 0.83 per cent in November, according to internet statistics provider Net Applications.

Google said that Chrome had gained 10m active users in just 100 days.

Firefox, the opensource rival browser, has maintained its steady gain and now accounts for over 20 per cent of internet usage. It’s latest release of Firefox 3 was downloaded by over 8m users in one day.

Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s browser which comes pre-installed on the majority of computers, still leads the market with 70 per cent market share, but is significantly down from four years ago when it had over 90 per cent of the browser market.

Источник: Financial Times

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