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Google Chrome for Mac Beta Released

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Google has finally released a beta Mac OS X version of its WebKit-based Internet browser, Google Chrome. Chrome is notable for launching each tab as a separate process, which isolates security breaches, reduces waits from JavaScript hangups, and, in the event of a crash, takes down only that process instead of all open pages in a browser.

To better understand how Chrome differs from other browsers, consider taking a gander at artist Scott McCloud's comic which explains the browser's technical ins-and-outs in everyday language. (To learn more about the comic itself see "Google Explains Its Forthcoming Web Browser with Comics," 1 September 2008).

Since Chrome was first announced, Apple and the Mozilla Foundation have both released significant improvements to the JavaScript engines that power Safari and Firefox. The speed of JavaScript was lauded at Chrome's launch, because faster JavaScript means smoother interactions with Web-based applications that rely on huge libraries of code that run in the browser.

In the press notes for its browser's launch, Google notes the Chrome development process comprised "73,804 lines of Mac-specific code written; 29 developer builds; 1,177 Mac-specific bugs fixed; 12 external committers and bug editors to the Google Chrome for Mac code base; 48 external code contributors; 64 Mac minis doing continuous builds and tests; 8,760 cups of soft drinks and coffee consumed; and 4,380 frosted mini-wheats eaten." Thank goodness for sugar and caffeine!

Google Chrome for Mac Beta is free and requires Mac OS X 10.5 on an Intel-based Mac. It's available as a 17.6 MB download.

 

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