Google has announced
the availability of the first official Chrome developer release for Linux and Mac OS X. The search giant says that the release is a preview intended for testing purposes only and that the software is still unsuitable for regular users.
When Google launched Chrome last year, the browser was available only on Windows. Development on the Linux and Mac OS X ports began shortly after the initial Windows release and has progressed at a steady pace. The Chrome team aims to build ports that feel native and conform well with the underlying platform, but also retain some of the browser's unique characteristics, such as the distinctive angled tab skyline. This approach to cross-platform software development is very challenging, especially on Linux where the inherent diversity and modularity of the platform makes it difficult to translate many elements of the original Chrome vision.
The browser's source code is available for download under an open license, but Google uses separate branding to create differentiation between the underlying open source project and their own official builds. The project is called Chromium and the official browser is called Chrome. Until now, the Linux and Mac OS X port was only available in the form of Chromium builds. This is the first time that Google has released Mac and Linux binaries with the Chrome name and branding. It's a significant milestone for the browser, and it demonstrates Google's commitment to supporting it in an official capacity across all three platforms.