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Chrome 2.0 beta but no Linux version, yet

By   |  January 12, 2009

Google released a pre-beta version of its Chrome 2.0 browser late last week but has still not made a Linux or Mac version of the browser available.

The 2.0 version of the browser was released to developers and includes a number of new features including the begins of an extension strategy for the browser.

Senior Google staffers said, however, that Linux and Mac versions of the browser would only be made available later this year. CNet quotes Brian Rakowski, Chrome’s product manager, who said that the Mac and Linux versions of the browser were now at the “test shell” stage which meant that they could show web pages but are still in a very raw format.

Rakowski said that versions of Chrome for Linux and Mac would likely be made available by the middle of 2009.


Chrome 2.0 pre-beta does include support for some extension scripts, which will pave the way for fully-fledged extensions in the near future. Extensions are among the most requested features from users and is a key part of the success of rival browser Firefox.

Other new features in version 2.0 of Chrome include autocomplete for web forms, full-page zoom, multiple browser profiles each with their own bookmarks and cookies, autoscroll using the mouse centre button and the ability to import bookmarks from the Google Bookmarks site.

Less obvious to users but key to Chrome 2.0 is the inclusion of a new version of the WebKit rendering engine. The new Chrome release uses WebKit 528.8, which is faster and supports features such as CSS canvas drawing for 2D shapes such as lines on maps or custom-generated charts.

CNET: Chrome gets Mac deadline, extensions foundation


5 Responses to “Chrome 2.0 beta but no Linux version, yet”

  1. TonyY
    January 13th, 2009 @ 12:42 am

    I cannot get enthusiastic over any aspect of Chrome as a “stand alone browser”. Firefox was already making huge inroads into IE usage and Firefox displayed better software development, facilities, speed and security than the Microsoft offering of IE.

    Google runs on FOSS and yet could NOT give something back and support Firefox even more by suggesting and funding ways in which Firefox could do its job better. There seems no earthly reason why Google could not have funded development of Firefox in such a way that their needs could have been fully satisfied……Certainly, the idea of stand-alone, sandboxed tabs is excellent in my opinion. Instead, Google chose to splinter browser efforts rather than combine with Mozilla to produce a single superb browser. Google’s decision to produce yet another alternative browser suggests a couple of things, at least to me anyway:

    1. Google wants a “Google centric Empire” based solely on Google software, and in turn that indicates very strongly that the profit motive is the sole reason for Google’s step in producing Chrome.

    2. Google is now becoming, in its own way, the “Microsoft of the Internet”. What Google wants, Google gets……..

    Of course, it could also be that Mozilla rebuffed Google and would have no part of any Google initiated and funded development along the lines that Chrome is now displaying….but I find that hard to believe……..Nevertheless, only the internal people would know………and in any case, all the above are just idle moment thoughts, and they should NEVER be taken seriously, should they ?

  2. C
    January 13th, 2009 @ 1:18 am

    Building an application that is supposed to be cross platform needs to be built that way from the start. As a developer, I know that you have to build with a cross platform framework from the start.

  3. FewClues
    January 13th, 2009 @ 2:23 am

    Why oh why do people worry so about Chrome being available for Linux? Linux already has a half dozen great browsers and Google adds nothing to what is already there. Google does the same tease as I do with my Golden Retriever, Show it to him, get him all excited, act like I threw it and watch him run around trying to find it. All the while he has a couple of balls laying in the yard that he’s been playing with all day.

    I have arrived at the point where I wouldn’t use Chrome unless the only other choice was Internet Explorer. Google has a fabulous search engine – and that’s enough Google for me. As of the end of 2010 I still will not be using Google.

  4. Justin
    January 16th, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

    @TonyY: As far as I’m aware, Google provide a lot of support via awareness, funding (via the Firefox landing page) and in development, therefore I see no reason why they shouldn’t be able to spoil users for choice. I think that Chrome has enough core differences to have been written from the ground up.

    @FewClues: I’m on Linux and I’ll try Chrome when it comes out. I’ve really enjoyed it on Windows thus far: it’s super-fast, not memory-intensive has the a bunch of screen space, while I find Firefox on KDE to be slow and bulky. I think your opinion in your 2nd paragraph would serve more purpose on the net if it had logical justification.

  5. Indranil
    February 4th, 2009 @ 4:59 am

    Its really sad that someone like google, who depend so much on OSS, are being so Windows centric. Never expected this.
    By the way, chrome enthusiasts on Linux – you can definitely install chrome using Wine; no need to wait for a Linux version! Runs just fine.

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