Google's Chrome Emerges From Beta

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Google executives said in a blog that it was time well spent, however short.

Sundar Pichai, Google vice president of product management and Linus Upson, Google engineering director, said in a blog Thursday that the company repaired extensive video and audio glitches during the beta period.

"If you had problems watching videos with Google Chrome in the past, you should be pleasantly surprised with the performance now," they said.

Google says that the final version of the browser runs faster than the release of the first beta -- about 1.4 to 1.5 times faster with its V8 JavaScript engine, and loads pages quicker. In addition, Chrome also features better bookmark functions, with advanced bookmark import and export capabilities, as well as a simpler way to organize and manage large numbers of bookmarks, execs say.

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On the security front, Google offers a Safe Browsing feature, which provides extra protection against phishing attacks and other malware threats, as well as a sandbox technology that creates an additional layer of privacy and security. It also provides automatic security updates with the latest bug fixes and patches.

Those first in line to receive the non-beta version of Chrome will be new users, who can download the browser directly from the Google site. Thursday, a small number of Chrome users received an automatic update, with the rest of the 10 million existing users receiving the final download Friday.

Google's new Chrome browser touts more than 10 million users around the globe and has received a total of 14 updates, with the 15th being the one that let it cross over into its non-beta version, according to Google.

"We have removed the beta label as our goals for stability and performance have been met but our work is far from done," said Pichai.

Google executives say that while Chrome is out of beta, the company still plans to add some common browser features, such as autofill and RSS support in the near future. Google is also currently in the process of developing support for Mac and Linux.

Google said that with Chrome, the company decided to peel off the beta label as soon as its functionality standards were met, while it simultaneously managed to address issues gained from user feedback.

Historically, Google products and services have been known to live in beta form for indefinite periods of time. Google's Picasa online Web album service Picasa was taken out of beta at the end of October, while Google's Gmail, which has tens of millions of users, still technically resides in beta form.