According to the official Google Chrome blog, the new beta release of the Chrome browser, version 17.0 .963.26 beta-m, gains some of its additional speed by “loading some Web pages in the background, even before you finish typing the URL in the omnibox.”
Google announced at the same time the Chrome beta will offer additional protection against malicious websites and their malevolent downloads. Software engineer Dominic Hamon wrote in the Google Chrome blog post that this beta version includes “expanded functionality to analyze executable files (such as “.exe” and “.msi” files) that you download.” Chrome will notify users with a warning that they should discard such files. Hamon added that the company will be making Chrome smarter in the coming months, allowing it to detect even more malicious files.
We downloaded the latest Chrome beta and tested it, and it certainly feels faster. It downloaded and installed without a hitch, and it seems stable so far. As we typed a web address we often visit into Chrome’s address window (called the “omnibox,” where all the searching and URLs appear in Chrome), it did feel like it popped up faster.
We’ll keep testing this beta browser to see if I run into any bugs. You can try the new test release by downloading the Chrome beta here. By the way, while Chrome is the world’s second favorite browser, Google Chrome 15 beat out Internet Explorer 8 as the world’s most popular browser version.