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Chrome for OS X beta around the corner

Google's Chrome Web browser is inching ever closer to an official public beta release on Mac OS X. Based on the current state of development, it's looking promising

Google's Chrome Web browser is inching ever closer to an official public beta release on Mac OS X. Several keen eyes have investigated the current situation, including our US colleague Stephen Shankland, and it appears the beta will land as early as December.

A developer build of the Mac version has been available for a few months. We've been using it on and off since it first surfaced, and it's progressed an awfully long way in a short space of time.

The focus of Chrome has always been speed, though the current stable build (v4.0.237.0 at the time of writing) is not as quick at rendering JavaScript and Ajax as Apple's own Safari browser. Fast JavaScript processing is critical for running modern Ajax-heavy Web sites such as Facebook, and Google's own Gmail, Google Maps and Google Docs.

In the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark, the current Chrome for Mac build completed the test in 638ms. Safari, however, bettered this by 15 per cent with a total time to completion of 539ms. Safari runs on the WebKit framework, and using the latest build of that inside Safari the time only gets better: 524ms.

We're looking forward to getting our hands on the first beta, which, among other things, should finally include support for extensions. The question is, will you be switching to Chrome?