Not Recommended for Download: Chrome for Mac and Linux
Article by George Norman
On 09 Jun 2009
The good news for those of you that have seen Google’s Chrome in action is that the Mountain View search engine giant has rolled out Mac and Linux versions of their browser; the bad news is that these are not meant to the regular user, they are early versions meant for testing and as such you should not download them – unless you are a developer. If you are a developer, then go ahead and get the software, put it through its paces, and help Google roll out a stable version of Chrome for Mac and Chrome for Linux. Development on these versions is miles behind that of Chrome for Windows – keep in mind that not too long ago even Chrome 2.0 went stable.

Now the thing is that we get the standard warning every time an early version of any piece of software is rolled out. The thing is that with Chrome for Mac and Linux, the early developer builds, the development team at Google really went out of its way to tell you not to download the software.


“In order to get more feedback from developers, we have early developer channel versions of Google Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux, but whatever you do, please DON'T DOWNLOAD THEM! Unless of course you are a developer or take great pleasure in incomplete, unpredictable, and potentially crashing software,” said Product Managers Mike Smith and Karen Grunberg.

Just to put thing things in perspective, these builds are so early that Chrome for Mac and Linux will not be able to perform some of the most basic functions you would expect to get from a web browser. You will not be able to watch videos on YouTube, you will not be able to set your default search provider, you will not be able to print, you will not be able to change your security settings, and so on.

An additional warning comes from Senior Technology Consultant with Sophos, Graham Cluley: “Well, it seems that non-Windows users are one step further to getting their wishes answered as Google has announced that they have released "developer versions" of Chrome for Mac and Linux. Woah! But hold your horses a little you cappuccino-supping Mac lovers and neck beard-wearing Linux freakazoids - because Google is also suggesting you don't download them. The reason? Well, they're not ready for regular users yet and - in fact - sound like they're currently pretty useless as web browsers. However, releasing an early version like this just to the hardcore browser developer community will help bugs to be found.”

For Apple fans, there is Safari 4 (no longer Beta) to play with.

Tags: Google, Chrome, Mac, Linux
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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