SAN FRANCISCO: Google on Thursday yanked the "beta" test label off Chrome, quickly putting a stamp of approval on its Web browser released in a
direct challenge to Microsoft's ubiquitous Internet Explorer.
The California online search titan - known for leaving new software offerings in beta, or test, modes for what seems like ages - says Chrome proved its merits, and in a relatively brief 100 days.
Google's free web-based Gmail service still bears a "beta" label even though it was launched nearly five years ago.
Chrome has gone through 15 iterations since its launch with fixes and modifications engineered based on feedback from some of the more than 10 million people worldwide that have started using the browser.
"We're excited to announce that with today's 50th release we are taking off the 'beta' label," Google engineering director Linus Upson and product management vice president Sundar Pichai wrote in an online posting.
"We have removed the beta label as our goals for stability and performance have been met but our work is far from done."
Improvements which users called for, and reportedly got, include better video viewing, faster data loading, and strict privacy and security controls.
Google and Microsoft have been in an escalating war, with the Redmond, Washington-based software goliath striving to unseat Google as king of Internet search and advertising.
Google, meanwhile, is striking at the heart of Microsoft's empire by offering software free online as services supported by advertising.