Google launches Chrome browser for Mac, Linux

Google has announced a host of new functionality for its Chrome web browser, including the long-awaited release for Apple Macintosh and Linux users.

Google has announced a host of new functionality for its Chrome web browser, including the long-awaited release for Apple Macintosh and Linux users.

The company on Tuesday touted the Mac and Linux versions of the browser, which is competing with Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox, as stable, secure and super fast.

"Try installing the beta and see how fast it launches — there's hardly even time for the icon in the dock to bounce," wrote Brian Rakowski on Google's official blog.

Google also announced that Windows and Linux users will also be able to customize their browsers with extensions, which are add-ons usually created by third parties. Google made about 300 extensions, running the gamut from news readers to slideshow tools, available with the announcement.

The company said extensions weren't ready for Mac users yet, but the functionality would be added soon.

Estimates of how much market share Chrome has taken from Microsoft, Firefox and other browsers since its launch for Windows PCs in September 2008 vary, generally ranging between one and seven per cent.

Google last month announced that it would launch netbooks loaded with its web-focused Chrome operating system, which is based on the browser, by the end of 2009. The operating system is geared specifically to getting people connected to the internet quickly and is intended to wean people off computers running Microsoft's Windows.