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26 January 2010, 09:35

Google releases Chrome 4.0 for Windows

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Zoom Google Chrome 4.0 on Windows.
Four months after the release of version 3.0, Google has announced the availability of Chrome version 4.0 for Windows. In addition to addressing several high-risk security vulnerabilities, the latest release of the WebKit-based browser includes a number of new features.

According to a post on the Official Google Blog, Chrome for Windows features support for extensions and bookmark sync, "two of the browser's most frequently requested features". With extensions, users can extend their browser by writing scripts that become part of the browser, in a similar fashion to Firefox Add-Ons. So far, there are more than 1,500 extensions available from the Google Chrome Extensions page. Google's sample extensions include a Mail Checker and Feed Reader subscriber.

The addition of bookmark sync allows users to synchronise their bookmarks across all of their computers. Once enabled, bookmarks created on one computer will automatically be added to a users other computers over the internet. Other improvements include enhanced developer tools, HTML5 updates, such as Notifications, Web Database, Local Storage, WebSockets and Ruby support, and better JavaScript performance using Chrome's V8 JavaScript Engine.

Additionally, the latest stable release for Windows adds support for a new security feature called "Strict Transport Security", an HTTP response header that forces the browser to connect using a secure connection such as HTTPS, and experimental support for a new anti-reflected cross-site-scripting (XSS) feature called "XSS Auditor". Google has also addressed a total of 13 vulnerabilities, six of them rated has high-risk. Four of the high-risk bugs relate to memory errors when drawing on canvases or decoding an image and the other two relate to a cross-domain access error and a bitmap de-serialisation error. Further details of the vulnerabilities are being withheld until "a majority of users are up to date with the fix".

More details about the release can be found in the release announcement. Chrome for Windows is available to download for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Users that currently have Chrome installed can use the built-in update function by clicking Tools, selecting About Google Chrome and clicking the Update button.

Google has yet to release a stable version of Chrome for Linux and Mac OS X users or even to give a target release date. The first betas, version, for Mac and Linux were released in early December of 2010.

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