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Google Chrome Better, Not Beta

Chrome Brought Us More Speed

When Google announced its release of Chrome in September 2008 – in the unconventional form of a clever, 38 page online comic book – the first thing I noticed with the search giant’s first (and opened source) browser was its speed. Chrome loaded faster from Windows XP than any of my other browsers, and displayed pages at lightning speed, thanks at least in part to its V8 JavaScript engine.

Features such as hidden class transitions, dynamic code generation, and precise garbage collection help Chrome outperform it’s peers by about 2:1 in speed. Benchmark tests compared the browser’s speed with that of Safari, Firefox 3, Internet Explorer 7, and Internet Explorer 8.

Chrome Brought Us More Stability

As with many others, my main interest in Chrome laid in the fact that it’s a multi-threaded browser. Single-threaded browsers must be completely restarted if a problem site crashes your current tab or window, but with Chrome’s Task Manager, not only can you see which sites are using the most resources – including memory, processor and data transfer – but you can also terminate problem threads, saving you from having to restart your browser in these cases.

Is Chrome Really Ready To Lose it’s Training Wheels?

4 days ago, on December 11 – only 100 days after Google released the Beta version – Chrome Browser was officially stripped of its beta label. By now, your beta version will have been automatically updated to v1.0.154.36, bringing you the improvements and bug fixes afforded by the last 104 days of user feedback and automatic crash reports analysis.

Chrome v.1 even faster

According to Sunspider Benchmark data, Chrome’s V8 Javascript engine runs 1.4 times faster than its older, beta version, and 1.5 times faster according to the V8 Benchmark.

Other improvements in Chrome’s Official Release:

  • Improved bookmarking features (a top users request)
  • A more user-friendly privacy control panel
  • Improved video and audio plug-in support

So The Bugs Are Mostly Fixed – But where’s the Rest of the Browser

I abandoned Internet Explorer as my browser of choice years ago in favor of much more web standard compliant Firefox and Opera. They were more secure, faster (once loaded) and all around better development tools. Enter Firefox Extensions. If you haven’t used any of the many Firefox extensions, for example the Web Developer Toolbar, you’re missing out. Not just bells and whistles, some serious functionality exists in hundreds of Firefox Extensions.

I’m sure that Chrome will eventually support the addition of useful extensions, and who knows, maybe even outdo Firefox in that department one day; but no RSS reader? In my opinion chrome isn’t ready to be freed of its beta status.