Google's numerous products and web services, for better or worse, are often stuck in the beta limbo for a prolonged time. Take GMail for example, which despite of being several years old, immensely popular, and considered to be fairly stable, still has the “Beta” tag attached to it. The same goes to many other Google tools, like Google Docs. One recent addition, however, seems to be leap-frogging the rest.
According to a recent interview, the Google Chrome browser may actually be leaving beta sometime soon. If the rumor is true and Chrome indeed leaves beta in the foreseeable future, it could end up being the quickest Google product to ever reach a final 1.0 milestone just a few months after launch.
One must wonder what could be inspiring Google to push the browser out of beta. Could it be a technical reason, with them feeling it's reached a point of stability and feature richness to be a 1.0? Or is it more a logistical reason, with Google fearing that people will shy away from using Chrome when the other big browsers already have numerous “stable” releases available?
How about marketing? Most computer manufacturers ship their PCs with alternative browsers or toolbars installed that monetize search queries. Firefox itself gets tons of funding from its built-in search tools that default to Google. No doubt Chrome will see less barriers for such uses once it reaches a 1.0 milestone and will inevitably translate into more search traffic for the web giant.