Watching
the 1985 classic Back
to the Future
last night, I was struck by how much things can change with
time. The main character Marty McFly travels 30 years back in time, only to find
that his house hadn’t been built yet, skateboards hadn’t been invented and
nobody had ever heard rock ‘n roll.

Looking back today on Chrome’s second
anniversary, it’s amazing to see how much has changed in just a short time. In
August 2008, JavaScript
was 10 times slower, HTML5
support wasn’t yet an essential
feature
in modern browsers, and the idea of a sandboxed, multi-process
browser was only a research
project
. All browsers have come a long way in the last two years and the web
has become much more fun and useful.

Happy 2nd birthday, Google Chrome!
(Illustration:
Mike Lemanski, click image to expand)

Since
Chrome’s first
beta launch
for Windows, we’ve brought our Mac and Linux versions up
to speed
, and continued to make the browser faster, simpler, and safer
across all three platforms. We’ve also introduced a boatload of features,
including a more
customizable
New Tab page, browser
themes
, side-by-side
view
, password manager, better privacy
controls
, built-in
Adobe Flash Player, Autofill, automatic translation, HTML5 capabilities and
synchronization
of various settings such as bookmarks, themes, extensions and browser
preferences—just to name a few. Finally, there are now more than 6,000
extensions in our gallery to
enhance your browsing experience.

Behind the scenes, we continue to
extend the security features that help you browse the web more safely. This
includes Chrome’s Safe
Browsing
technology—which serves as a warning system if you’re about to
visit a site suspected of phishing or hosting malware; Chrome’s auto-update
mechanism—which helps ensure that the browser is always up-to-date with the
latest security updates; and the browser’s “sandbox”—an added layer of
protection which prevents malicious code on an exploited website from infecting
your computer.

The old Chrome: our very first
beta!

Chrome now: Our
brand new release today

Today, we’re releasing a new
stable version of Chrome that is even faster and more streamlined. Chrome is now
three times faster than it was two years ago on JavaScript performance. We’ve
also been working on simplifying the “chrome” of Chrome. As you can see, we took
the already minimalist user interface and stripped it down a bit more to make it
easier to use. We combined Chrome’s two menus into one, revisited the location
of the buttons, cleaned up the treatment of the URL and the Omnibox,
and adjusted the color scheme of the browser to be easier on the
eyes.

Sliding back into Doc Brown’s DeLorean and
setting the dial ahead by a few months, we have more in store for Chrome. As
always, we’re hard at work on making Chrome even faster, and working on ways to
improve graphics performance in the browser through hardware acceleration. With
the Chrome Web
Store
, we hope to make it much easier to find and use great applications on
the web. We also ratcheted
up
the pace of our releases so that we can get new features and improvements
to everyone more quickly.

If you haven’t tried Chrome recently, we invite
you to download our new stable version today at google.com/chrome. For those
of you who have been using Chrome, thanks for a great second year! We hope that
Chrome has made your life on the web even better, and look forward to the next
year.

Life on the web, in the browser.
(Illustration:
Jack Hudson, click image to
expand)

Posted by Brian
Rakowski, Product Manager




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