Google’s Chrome Sheds Beta Status
Google made a splash when it announced its new Web browser, Chrome, in September. Like many of Google?s new products, Chrome first appeared in a beta, or test, version. That limited its appeal, as corporate users in particular tend to shy away from using software that is still in test mode. Perhaps as a result, Chrome?s share of the Web browser market is less than 1 percent. In the new browser wars, that?s a rounding error compared with Internet Explorer?s nearly 70 percent market share.
On Thursday, just 100 days after its initial rollout, Chrome shed the ?beta? label. Google, which is claiming 10 million active users of Chrome, is saying that the new browser is ready for prime time, as it has fewer bugs, is more secure and runs faster than it did three months ago.
Chrome?s transition from beta to release version is surprisingly fast. Google is known for keeping products in test mode for years. For example, Gmail, which was first released in April 2004 and has millions of users, still sports the ?beta? label. Clearly Google wants the use of Chrome to grow sooner rather than later. But Google said it would also have a newer version of Chrome that will always be in beta. It will gradually incorporate new features, which after proper testing will be added to the release version in batches every three months or so.