Google has released version 9 of its browser. The update brings hundreds of bug fixes as well as many features that have been available on the Chrome beta and dev channels to users interested in using Chrome's latest builds. Chrome 9 also addresses 9 security vulnerabilities in the WebKit-based browser: one rated Critical, two rated as High, and six rated as Low.

The new Chrome version includes new features such as Chrome Instant (you'll need to enable it in the Basics tab of Chrome's options), which loads frequently visited web pages as soon as the user begins to enter the URL into the address bar. WebGL, a new Web technology for bringing hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser, is now supported in the stable version of Chrome. Last but not least, the Chrome Web Store is now open to all Chrome users in the US (as opposed to just beta/dev/canary channel users), and Google has added a link to the store on the New Tab page, along with two sample apps.

The latest stable build (9.0.597.84) is available now for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Those who currently have Chrome installed can use the built-in update function under the About Google Chrome menu item.

The release is light on new features because Google is no longer concerned about using version numbers to mark a significant development milestone. The search giant recently promised to accelerate the release cycle for Chrome and push out a new stable build every six weeks. Chrome 8 was actually released in just over four weeks. Apparently users don't mind these frequent releases: the browser's market share is already at 10 percent.