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12/8/2009
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Google Releases Chrome For Mac, Linux

Over a year after the release of Google Chrome for Windows, Mac and Linux beta versions have arrived.

At the Web 2.0 Summit in October, Google co-founder Sergey Brin expressed disappointment that a Mac version of Google's Chrome browser had not yet been released.

Brin finally has something to smile about -- aside from his role in one of the world's most successful companies -- a beta version of Chrome for the Mac is now available.

"We've been working hard to deliver a first-class browser for the Mac -- it took longer than we expected, but we hope the wait was worth it!" declared Google product manager Brian Rakowski in a blog post. "We wanted Google Chrome to feel at home on the Mac, so we've focused on uniting our clean, simple design with subtle animations and effects to create a snappy and satisfying browsing experience on OS X."

Google also released a beta version of Chrome for Linux and browser extensions for users of beta and developer builds.

In June, Google began encouraging developers to test an early developer build. Many features, however, were missing.

The final step for Chrome on Mac and Linux will be to be released on what Google calls the stable channel, as opposed to the beta and developer channels.

Google's design goals for Chrome, which represents the foundation of the company's forthcoming Chrome OS, remain focused on speed, stability, and security. As an example, Chrome isolates each browser tab so that buggy Web page code will only crash the tab and not the entire browser. Chrome's multiprocess architecture is also a way to protect users from poorly coded or malicious extensions.

Since its launch for Windows computers in September 2008, Google Chrome has achieved a 5.1% global share of the browser market and surpassed Apple's Safari browser, according to Stat Counter. According to Net Applications, Safari had a global market share of 4.36% and Chrome had 3.93% at the end of November.

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