Google releases finished version of Chrome browser

GOOGLE has yanked the "beta" label off the Chrome web browser, putting a stamp of approval on its rival to Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

The web company known for leaving new products in beta, or test, modes for what seems like ages said Chrome had proven itself in a relatively brief 100 days.

Google's free web-based Gmail service still bears a "beta" label even though it was launched nearly five years ago.

Chrome has gone through 15 iterations since its launch, with fixes and modifications engineered based on feedback from some of the more than 10 million people who have tried the browser.

"We're excited to announce that with today's 15th release we are taking off the 'beta' label," wrote Google engineering director Linus Upson and product management vice president Sundar Pichai on the official Google blog.

"We have removed the beta label as our goals for stability and performance have been met but our work is far from done."

Improvements which users called for, and reportedly got, include more stable video playback, faster data loading and strict privacy and security controls.

Google and Microsoft have been in an escalating war as the software goliath strives to unseat Google as the market leader in web search and advertising.

Google, meanwhile, is striking at the heart of Microsoft's empire by offering alternatives to its popular software suites such as Office as free online services.