Google is smarting: with the imminent release of Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has stolen a march on its rivals in the browser market for the first time. The slimmed down user interface and faster loading times are a direct threat to Chrome’s major selling points, which is why version 9 of Chrome has quickly found itself pushed into development.
Version 9 finally implements the long-promised performance improvements over version 6, with hardware acceleration implemented in most components, so that t he vast majority of web pages are now displayed much more quickly than in previous builds.
Version 9 now supports Google Instant, which anticipates what URLs and search terms you're going to enter by loading web pages as you start typing. You can also now see the sign-in page for Google Cloud Print service, which will eventually allow you to print over the internet to compatible printers from wherever you are. Chrome 9 also adds built-in sandboxing of the Adobe Flash Player plug-in for security reasons to help block potential malicious Flash code from gaining a foothold on your system.
Note that Google Chrome 9 is the stable release. You can download an alternative development version, currently v10.x, if you want to try the latest version, along with debug code and other minor issues.
The jump from version 8 to version 9 adds a few new features to Chrome, but it remains a long way behind the Dev version in terms of cutting-edge features.