Google (GOOG) took their web browser Chrome out of beta stage today, officially releasing the desktop software’s 1.0 version. In just 100 days, Google said in its blog, Chrome has reached more than 10 million active users worldwide while its development team has released 14 updates to the product. The search giant said it had been hard at work improving the stability and overall performance of the browser.
Google also recognized in its blog post the contributions made by its users, all of whom were encouraged to report any bugs or glitches they came across.
“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,” wrote Sundar Pichai, Google’s vice president of product management, and engineering director Linus Upson.
Google also promised more speed and better performance to Chrome’s users.
“Better bookmark features were a top request from our users,” reads the Google blog. “It’s now easier to switch between another browser and Google Chrome with the bookmark import and export features, and we’ve added a new, simple way to manage large numbers of bookmarks, too.”
The Google Chrome development team said that user privacy and security had been taken very seriously from the beginning and that they will “continue to look for ways to make Google Chrome and all browsers even more secure.”
However, the team of engineers warned that Chrome at this stage is still a work in progress.
“We have removed the beta label as our goals for stability and performance have been met, but our work is far from done. We are working to add some common browser features such as form autofill and RSS support in the near future.”
Google Chrome works only on Windows for now, however, Google is working on a Mac version and a Linux version.
Taking the browser out of beta certainly fulfill Google’s ambition to let business partners bundle Chrome on their systems. Speaking to The Times last month, Sundar Pichai, Google vice president, stated:
“Google is exploring its distribution options and examining the various ways it might improve its market share. We will probably do distribution deals. We could work with an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and have them ship computers with Chrome preinstalled.” [Timesonline]
Mr. Pichai added that the search giant intends to back Chrome with all of the massive resources at its disposal. “We will throw our weight behind it,” said Pichai. “We’ve been conservative because it’s still in beta, but once we get it out of beta we will work hard at getting the word out, promoting to users, and marketing will be a part of that.”
Clearly, Google still remains eager to get Chrome out to many people and start competing in the browser space. Microsoft (MSFT) meanwhile, has said it can fend off any challenge Chrome might pose.
Separately: Credit Suisse cut Google estimates Thursday, citing that the economy is affecting paid click growth and average order size in 4Q’08. Fiscal ’09 EPS estimate was cut to $20 from $22.29, on 12% revenue growth, given limited visibility as a result of weak global ad trends.
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