Google promised that Mac and Linux versions of Chrome would be released swiftly when they released Chrome version 1.0 for Windows. Now, they’ve released Chrome version 3.0. But where are the Mac and Linux versions?
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When Google released Chrome 1.0 to great fanfare, it was a Windows-only application. However, Google advised the public that Mac and Linux versions were nearing completion and would be released very soon. That was last September - a year ago, and Mac or Linux versions have never been released at all.
Perhaps Google is too busy lobbying the FCC to get Google Voice into the App Store for the iPhone?
Based on statements made by Google insiders, it sounds like Google’s commitment to developing Mac and Linux versions of Chrome is extremely marginal.
In February, Pinkerton, a member of the team working on Google for Mac and Linux wrote that “we’ve got a very very long way to go (don’t dare ask me to predict a date — I won’t).” He also described the team as a loose collection of decentralized programmers not based at Google’s campus. Sounds almost as if Google is hoping the open source community will develop Chrome for Mac and Linux and that they can just reap the benefits.
Pinkerton also mentioned problems working with the version of WebKit that is installed and maintained by Apple in Leopard. If that is a problem, what is keeping Google from bundling their own version of WebKit with Chrome? And how is that hindering the Linux version of Chrome?
All in all, Google has shown a lack of commitment towards bringing Chrome to Mac and Linux users. Perhaps Google’s relationship with Apple is causing them to tread carefully and to avoid stepping on Safari’s toes. Although, that would not really explain the lack of Chrome for Linux.
Google’s official statement is “Google Chrome for Mac is in development and a team of engineers is working hard to bring it to you as soon as possible.” However, Google has not changed or added to this statement since last fall (2008).
Google should release a revised statement on the actual status of Chrome for Mac and Linux and exactly when they expect public releases, if any. Now that they have released Chrome 3.0 Windows without ever releasing a Mac or Linux version for Chrome 1.0, they should expect some tough questions and harsh commentary.
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