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Google Chrome Exits Beta For Linux, Mac

Google has moved Chrome 5 for Windows out of beta and taken the Mac and Linux versions of Chrome out of beta for the first time.
Google has taken the latest version of Chrome for Windows out of beta, launching the Web browser's fifth revision in less than two years.

In addition, Google on Tuesday took the Mac and Linux versions out of beta for the first time. While the three Chrome models share many of the same features, the Mac version has a native application feel for the Apple operating system.

Google has been releasing new versions of Chrome for Windows at a rapid pace. By comparison, Mozilla is on version 3.6 of Firefox after almost six years, while Google is on version 5 of Chrome in less than two years.

The latest Windows version runs JavaScript 30% to 35% faster than the previous version, according to Google. The search engine has also added a number of new features, many of which are also in the Mac and Linux versions.

Those features include the ability to synchronize bookmarks and browser preferences across multiple computers. Preferences include color themes, homepage, startup settings, Web content settings and page zoom settings.

For extension users, Google has added the ability to work in "incognito mode" through the extension manager, so others can't tract extension activity on the Web.

Google also has rolled out more HTML5 features, such as geo-location application programming interfaces, app cache, Web sockets and drag-and-drop. The latter, for example, makes it possible to drag a file from a computer and turn it into an attachment by dropping it in an email being composed in Gmail.

HTML5 has gotten lots of attention recently as the centerpiece of an ongoing dispute between Apple and Adobe. Apple has been pushing HTML5 as a better alternative for multimedia on smartphones than Adobe's Flash. Adobe, on the other hand, has worked with other companies in the industry to expand Flash into mobile devices. Apple won't support Flash on the iPhone or iPad.

With Chrome, Google is working both sides of the fence. The browser supports Flash, while also supporting an increasing number of HTML5 features.

Chrome has been gaining share in the browser market. As of the end of April, Chrome was used by 6.73% of Web surfers, gaining 0.6% from March, according to NetApplications. Chrome's increase came mostly at the expense of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which fell 0.7% month-to-month to 59.95%. It was the first time NetApplications had shown IE falling below 60%.

Mozilla Firefox was the second most used browser on the Web last month, with a 24.59% share, NetApplications said. Chrome is number three.