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Final version of Google Chrome set for release

Three-month old browser to leave beta stage

Three months after its release, Google's Chrome web browser looks set to come out of beta.

Online rumours claim Google vice president Marissa Mayer revealed the company's intentions in an interview at a Parisian Web conference. Once Chrome is out of beta, PC and laptop makers can then install the browser onto their computers, setting into motion Google's plan to preinstall Chrome on new PCs.

This is a comparatively short gestation period for a Google product - Gmail has been in beta since 2004 - especially given the myriad bugs Chrome has experienced and the fact that it's still unavailable on Apple Macs and MacBooks.

The real question is whether Chrome is actually finished, and if its release will have any impact on Chrome's browser market share numbers.

In terms of market share, Chrome has yet to exceed the 1 percent mark. Firefox, however, blasted through 20 percent, poising somewhat of a challenge to Internet Explorer's 69 percent.

However, Chrome lives up to its hype by rethinking the web browser in clever and convenient ways that make using the web a more organic experience than you'd get with either IE8 or Firefox 3.0, and PC manufacturers are certain to consider it as an alternative to the two dominant web browsers.

Chrome currently only supports Windows, although Google plans to launch Mac and Linux versions in the near future.

See also:

Google Chrome review

Firefox 3.0 review

Internet Explorer 8.0 review

PC World US magazine

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