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18 March 2009, 10:07

Google releases Chrome 2.0 Beta

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Google has released a beta of Chrome version 2.0 which it claims is even faster than its previous version. Chrome is a web browser based around Apple’s open source WebKit browser application framework. A new version of the WebKit has enabled some of the new features in this release. According to Google, the new beta is 25 per cent faster on their V8 benchmark, 35 per cent faster on the Sunspider benchmark and nearly twice as fast as the original beta of Chrome.

The beta includes other enhancements such as user script support (greasmonkey-like) and form auto-fill. Due to the new WebKit, the new version now supports a full page zoom, a new way to drag tabs into a side-by-side view and support for auto-scroll. Users who decide to upgrade or install the 2.0 beta will also receive regular updates which, according to Google, will include "new speed enhancements, features and bug fixes before most users see them."

The new beta is available to download for Windows XP SP2+ and Vista.

The Chromium project is working on native code browsers for Linux, Chromium being the code base for Chrome. Canonical, the commercial sponsors of Ubuntu, host the Chromium project on their Launchpad project development web site. The current release of Chromium for Linux is still in a very early alpha stage of development and may not always work. It should not be tried by users who don't want to risk having to restore their systems or data. A how to guide on running Chromium on Ubuntu by Stefan Forenza is available for interested users.

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