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December 10, 2008

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Google takes Chrome out of Beta

by Josh Lam

Google vice president Marissa Mayer announced Google Chrome is coming out of beta in an interview with Michael Arrington at LeWeb 08. The Google’s open source browser has a number of eager customers, including OEMs who can’t offer the browser until it is in full release. Chrome’s Windows client has been in beta since its roll out 3 months ago, and with the new move will likely spur bundling with Google Toolbar and Google Apps
Chrome’s official release comes at a time when Google is accelerating efforts to redefine the browser around open Web standards while adding rich media and secure code extensions. Google’s open source Native Client project is just one possible future for the Chrome platform, where applications can run in a browser but incorporate native code modules. For example, this would allow developers to perform image processing on the local client without requiring round trips to the server.
In recent weeks, Google has released a number of enhancements via the Gmail Labs project. A GTalk video chat client requires a 2MB plugin that appears to incorporate proprietary Flash technology as well as other early versions of open Web standards. Another Lab offering creates a Tasks tool that can automatically add emails as items with a keyboard shortcut from within the email item. Other Labs tools include gadgets to view and create Google Calendar items and Google Documents from within the Gmail window. A Google gadget allows third party developers to add their own Labs code.

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