Why I think Chrome is coming out of beta now
There have been a lot of discussions, blog posts describing how Chrome is one of the shortest if not the shortest beta cycle from Google. Most of the discussion has centered around the business requirements from OEM of having a non-beta software for pre-installation. Whilst this is valid, in my opinion this pre-deployment would still take a while to go through since I expect the earliest manufacturers will start a new build will be after Chinese New Year (end of Jan) and subsequently with another QA cycle could be March-April before boxes with Chrome pre-installed show up in stores
In my opinion, Google wants to take advantage of the holiday season where everyone is visiting family and doing the usual “tech support”. A lot of early adopters would like to get their parents computer cleaned up and install alternative browsers. Google’s Chrome is clean and with the search box integrated nicely with the address bar would be very useful to many who don’t care about the lack of extensions.
It will however be interesting to see how Chrome’s mechanism of being chatty with Google for its auto-suggestion may impact usage in markets where people have bandwidth limits.