Why Google Chrome Left Beta and Gmail Hasn’t
With Google removing the "Beta" label from its Chrome web browser, we not only get some enhancements to the software, but we also get some insight into why Google’s products stay in beta sooooo long.
In the video interview we published yesterday, Google’s Marissa Mayer explains why Chrome came out of beta so fast, while other services–Gmail for example–have remained in beta for years,
Apparently, it’s all about motivation–oh, and money.
You see, there are no formal standards for how long a web application should remain in beta–with no consequences, Google can keep Gmail in beta ad infinitum. When you get to software–the stuff that runs on your desktop–keeping it in beta means that OEMs (such as Dell, Lenovo, etc) won’t touch it. There are strict standards for software betas and all the time Chrome kept that label, Google missed out on important distribution partnerships.
Even Google admits that Chrome is far from finished:
We have removed the beta label as our goals for stability and performance have been met but our work is far from done. We are working to add some common browser features such as form autofill and RSS support in the near future.
Those of you running a Windows machine–Mac and Linux users are still waiting for their version of Chrome–will see improvements in stability, speed, and a better bookmarking manager.