Google issues first post-beta Chrome update

Newest developer build, 1.0.154.39, fixes 31 flaws.

Only days after Google dropped the beta tag from its Chrome browser, the company issued an update that fixes more than 30 bugs.

Earlier this week, Google delivered Chrome 1.0.154.39, a developer-only build that has not been sent to all users through the browser's update mechanism. Chrome users, however, can reset the browser to receive all updates, including the developer editions, with the Channel Chooser utility.

The 1.0.154.39 build applies 31 bug fixes, none of them related to security.

In a post to the company's blog, Mark Larson, Chrome's program manager, highlighted a fix designed to make Chrome more compatible with Windows Live Hotmail, Microsoft's Web-based e-mail service.

Users' reactions, however, were mixed. According to someone identified as "welshsimon31," the Hotmail fix to Chrome did the trick: "I have no problem with Hotmail now, everything is working perfectly, like a charm!"

Another user, also commenting on Larson's blog entry, disagreed. "I still have the bug with Hotmail when I am trying to compose a new message," said "Apokalypse."

Google removed the beta label a week ago, when it said Chrome had met its stability and performance goals. At the time, some users expressed surprise that Chrome had left beta after just three months of testing, and disagreed with Google's contention that the browser was stable.

The current production version of Chrome is 1.0.154.36.

Chrome's market share swung up slightly after Google ditched the beta moniker, according to data from Web metrics company Net Applications Inc. In the seven days since Google shifted Chrome out of beta, the browser has averaged a market share of just slightly over 1%.

Although Chrome's September debut attracted enough users to briefly put its share above that mark, it quickly slipped under the 1% bar. For the month of November, for example, Chrome's market share was 0.83%.

In comparison, Microsoft's Internet Explorer accounted for 69.8% of all browsers used last month, while Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox held down a 20.8% share. Apple Inc.'s Safari and Opera Software's Opera, meanwhile, had shares of 7.1% and 0.71%, respectively, in November.

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Gregg Keizer

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