After only 100 days and fifteen updates, Google has taken the "beta" label off Chrome, its WebKit based browser. Given that the company has a penchant for keeping products like Gmail or Google Docs in perpetual beta, it comes as a bit of a surprise that Google already considers Chrome to be a 1.0 product.

Since the first beta release, Google has focused on fixing stability issues (especially with regards to playing Flash video), sped up the already fast V8 JavaScript engine, and added a better bookmark manager and privacy controls.

Extensions Coming Soon

According to Google, the next step in the development of Chrome will be the addition of an extension architecture similar to Firefox's. Google is also planning to release Mac and Linux versions soon.

Lots of Users Already

Here at RWW, about 5.2% of our readers used Chrome in November (which is down from the 6.3% we saw when it launched in September and a lot of folks decided to give it a try) and a lot of our writers also use it on a daily basis. In comparison, about 2% of our readers use Opera and 9% use Safari.

A New Focus on Speed

If anything, the release of Chrome engine has made all the other browser developers focus on the speed of their JavaScript engines again, which can only be a good thing for those of us who spend a lot of our days in browsers. The only missing piece that is still holding Chrome back today is the absence of a good extension architecture.