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Google Releases Faster Chrome Beta

Among the new additions to Chrome include a new way to drag tabs out to arrange a side-by-side view.

Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla also have been highlighting the speed of their respective browsers.

When Apple released its public beta for Safari 4 last month, it claimed that Safari was "the world's fastest and most innovative browser."

Mozilla has disputed Chrome's speed claims in the past. But it didn't try to challenge what Apple said about Safari 4 in its introduction of Firefox 3.1 beta 3 last week, even if it did highlight the performance improvements brought about by its TraceMonkey JavaScript engine and its Gecko layout engine.

Earlier this month, Microsoft published a report showing that Internet Explorer 8 beat Chrome 1.0 and Firefox 3.05 loading 12 out of the top 25 Web sites (as measured by ComScore).

If the 25% to 35% speed increases cited by Google for the new Chrome beta be generalized beyond specific benchmarks, then Microsoft's IE 8 is likely to win far fewer races against Chrome going forward.

But speed is only one selling point for a Web browser. Other features matter, too. Among the new additions to Chrome are: form autofill, full page zoom, autoscroll, and a new way to drag tabs out to arrange a side-by-side view.

"We're doing our best to quickly churn out new features as they are available rather than saving them up for occasional major releases," says Rakowski. "Riding the beta channel is a great way to let us know about what's working and what's not, but don't be surprised to find some rough edges."

InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of Google Chrome. Download the report here (registration required).

And if you haven't seen Chrome in action yet, take a spin through our Google Chrome image gallery and have a look at the browser that's being touted as a game-changer.

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