Browser Wars, Take 2

chrome211The browser wars are heating up once more. Google yesterday released a new version of Chrome and announced that the browser was out of beta (quite a rapid development, given that Gmail still sports the “beta” tag some five years after it was first unveiled). The new Chrome is blazingly fast, even beating the latest beta of Firefox 3.5 — itself no slouch — in JavaScript performance benchmarks. There are numerous guides and tool out there that will help you get even more out of it — all of them free.

The battle between Google and Mozilla to produce the fastest browser is good news for users increasingly reliant on Ajax-powered web apps. The heavy investment Google making into JavaScript performance makes perfect sense — after all, users will be much more likely to switch from their desktop applications if the performance of Google’s JavaScript-heavy web apps is comparable.

Google is aggressively pushing for more market share for its fledgling browser. Stats would suggest that Google has had some early success at this goal, capturing nearly 5 percent of the market already (much more than established browser Opera, which sits at just 2.2 percent), according to W3Schools. With blistering performance, a great platform with which to push its product and even a TV advertising campaign, that market share looks likely to increase.

Other enhancements in this new release include improved stability, a full screen mode and form autofill. And while it’s somewhat surprising that Google has brought Chrome out of beta with no Mac version available, one is planned.

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