Google Touts Speed of New Chrome Beta

Google has introduced what it says is a faster beta version of Chrome. The announcement was made on a new company blog devoted to the browser.

According to Chrome product manager Brian Rakowski, the beta is up to 35 percent quicker than the previous version of Chrome. Other new features include being able to drag tabs to get a side-by-side view, form autofill, autoscroll and a full-page zoom.

The speed claim is difficult to verify. Google hasn't published any numbers comparing Chrome to other browsers. Microsoft recently said that IE8 is faster than Chrome 1.0.

Three versions of Chrome are now available: the "stable" release, this new beta, and an even buggier 2.0.169.1 developer-only build. Introduced last September, Chrome now is the fourth most popular browser, edging out Opera, according to Web metrics company Net Applications. However, with only 1.15 percent of the market, it's still far behind leaders Internet Explorer and Firefox.

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