Google Chrome 5 Hits Stable Status on Linux, Mac

New Chrome stable 5.0.375.55 released, marking the first time Windows, Mac and Linux releases for stable have been made, but it's still not quite what beta users have had.

Google's Chrome 5 Web browser is now available as a stable release for Mac and Linux, extending the availability of a stable version of the service to the three major operating systems.

The first stable release for Mac and Linux users comes after nearly a year of development in the dev and beta channels of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Chrome. The first versions of Chrome for Linux and Mac debuted in June 2009 and had only limited functionality. In contrast, Google has been offering Windows builds ever since the beginning of the Chrome effort in September 2008.

In addition to the availability for Mac and Linux stable users, Chrome 5 provides a number of feature and performance improvements to users on all supported platforms. Chrome 5 development began with the dev-channel version in February of this year. Then Chrome 5 beta debuted in May, boasting JavaScript performance gains.

Chrome 5 also improves on the synchronization capabilities of Chrome 4, which was released for Windows only in January of this year. In Chrome 4, the focus of Google's synchronization effort was bookmarks. With Chrome 5, the synchronization capabilities have been improved and now also include browser preferences such as themes as startup preferences.

One thing that Chrome 5 will not be delivering to stable users that beta users did experience is the direct integration of the Adobe Flash player into the browser.

"In recent weeks, we've been beta-testing Adobe Flash Player integration into Chrome," Brian Rakowski, a product manager at Google wrote in a blog post. "While Flash Player integration in the browser is not included by default in today's stable release, we're excited to enable this feature with the full release of Flash Player (version 10.1) soon."

Security Fixes

As part of the Chrome 5 stable update, Google is also fixing at least six security vulnerabilities in Chrome, two which were the company had labeled as highly critical.

Google's release notes refer to one of the highly critical flaws as "an incorrect execution of Javascript in the extension context." Google warned that the other highly critical flaw could be aimed at spoofing URL bars.

Google has provided few public details on the highly critical flaws at this point.

"Note that the referenced bugs may be kept private until a majority of our users are up to date with the fix," Anthony Laforge, a member of Google's Chrome development team, wrote in a blog posting.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.




Tags: Linux, Mac, Chrome, Chrome browser, Google Chrome


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