Google posts Chrome version as a "bugfix-only" release

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Google posts Chrome version as a "bugfix-only" release

Chicago (IL) – The development of Google’s Chrome browser may be seeing a 1.0 release at some point in the future, but it is obvious that Google isn’t racing towards that goal and still has lots of ground to cover. The most recent version of the browser released yesterday carries the version number and fixes several problems and adds a few tweaks. And it appears that those little updates are helping to increase the browser’s market share.

Chrome was been posted as an update on Tuesday to address critical bugs and deliver new end-user features. Chrome program manager Mark Larson described the new version is “a bugfix-only release,” noting that there are “no new features” in this software.

Google says it has fixed an issue that caused Chrome to occasionally hang when using a site with Gears offline data. This means that users are no longer required to disable offline access, if a problematic site causes Chrome to crash. A problem with the Adobe Flash installer is resolved as well: When Chrome shows a message with a link to install Flash, the installer launches without problems once it is downloaded. An issue that caused Chrome to restart twice after an update to get the new version is also fixed.

The previous version introduced an overhauled pop-up blocker that in fact blocks pop-up windows instead of loading them in minimized state in the lower right corner of a browser window. However, the pop-up blocker prevented pop-up windows from opening JavaScript alert messages, which breaks some sites that open forms in new windows or use a JavaScript alert to notify a user about form errors. This issue is now fixed.

A new bookmark manager, the first ever in Chrome, was also introduced in the previous version, but it ran into problems with added folders that were not showing up in the folder list of the Add bookmark dialog. Finally, Google also hopes that Chrome will no longer crash under Windows XP 64-bit when users open the Options dialog.

Chrome is released just to developers for now, not the general public. Users who want to try the development versions can do so by running Google’s Channel Chooser tool that enables access to the latest fixes and new features as they make their way into the software. The current end-user version of Chrome carries version number

According to NetApplications, Chrome sees a jump in market share when Google posts an update. During the most recent update from version 0.2x to 0.3x, the share jumped from about 0.7% to above 0.8%. Meanwhile, it seems as if Firefox is continuing to gain share at  fast pace: In the first half of the month, Firefox market share averaged more than 20%, according to data released by Net Applications.