The Version Number Is Dead. Google Barely Whispers The Launch Of Chrome 8

Chrome 8 is here! Chrome 8 is here! The latest greatest version of Chrome! Joyous day, right? Don’t tell Google that. The search giant announced the (stable) launch not on their Google blog, and not even on their Google Chrome blog, but on their Google Chrome Releases blog. And in the post, they devote a whole two sentences to it. The rest is all about bug fixes.

But to those who follow Chrome closely, this shouldn’t be a big surprise. Ever since they shifted their strategy to release a new version of the browser every six weeks or so, the version numbers have become a mere afterthought. Before today’s update, the Chrome stable build was version 7, the beta was version 8, and the dev was version 9. And I’m sure Chromium (the open source browser on which Chrome is built) will hit version 10 shortly.

Back in the day, Google used to give these Chrome launches much pomp and circumstance. Next thing you know, there will just be a tweet about it. Then just a retweet. Then maybe a Plurk update to announce Chrome 14.

Of course, all of this doesn’t mean Chrome 8 is without any new features. Google highlights the built-in PDF viewer as one. The other big one not stated is that it’s likely to be the release that makes the forthcoming Chrome Web Store possible.

And, of course, the latest version is stated to be the fastest and most stable version yet.

Here’s the meat of Google’s Chrome 8 post:

The Chrome team is happy to announce our latest Stable release, 8.0.552.215.  In addition to the over 800 bug fixes and stability improvements, Chrome 8 now contains a built in PDF viewer that is secured in Chrome’s sandbox.  As always, it also contains our latest security fixes, listed below.  This release will also be posted to the Beta Channel.

Chrome 8 is here. Shhhh.