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Google Chrome for Mac and Linux launched

Web users urged not to download browser

Google has released a developer-only version of its Google Chrome browser for Mac and Linux.

The release comes nine months after the Windows version of the browser was launched in September last year. However, Google has warned that the Mac and Linux version of the browser is rough and unstable.

"We have early developer channel versions of Google Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux, but whatever you do, please DON'T DOWNLOAD THEM!" said Mike Smith and Karen Grunberg, a pair of Chrome product managers, in a blog.

"Unless of course you are a developer or take great pleasure in incomplete, unpredictable, and potentially crashing software."

The new versions lack important features and functionality, Smith and Grunberg warned, including compatibility with Adobe's Flash Player plug-in and printing. A current bug list catalogues other missing pieces, ranging from a working bookmark manager - users can bookmark pages, but there's no way to retrieve a bookmark - to a memory leak.

Chrome accounted for approximately 1.4 percent of those used last month, according to the most recent data from web metric company Net Applications, a surge of 27 percent from the month before.

On Windows, Chrome comes in three flavors: Google's developer, beta and stable versions, in ascending order of fit and finish. Google releases more developer preview builds than betas, which in turn accumulate until the company's satisfied with their progress enough to roll out another stable build.

"[We're] trying to get Google Chrome on these platforms stable enough for a beta release as soon as possible!" added Smith and Grunberg.

Although the two program managers acknowledged that the developer preview crashes, Computerworld ran the Mac browser for several hours without a hitch.


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