A decade of Chrome: how Google’s browser changed

Some of the milestones Chrome has passed over the years

 Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

 

From a browser minnow to the most used in the world, it has been a (mostly) successful decade for Chrome. Here are just some of the key moments from Chrome’s development over the past 10 years.

September 2008

Google unveiled its Chrome browser, launching it generally on September 2nd - but only for Windows. It was intended to be a lighter, faster and simpler browser, combining the address bar and the search box. At the same time, it also began Chromium, an open source project for the web browser that is designed to get the community involved in developing new features.

December 2008

After an initial flurry of interest that saw its usage rate hover above 1 per cent, Chrome dipped again. But by December, it had climbed again and clawed its way back over 1 per cent.

December 2009

More than a year after it hit Windows, Chrome expands. Beta versions of Chrome were released for OS X and Linux. The stable versions follow in May 2010.

May 2010

Google announces the Chrome Web Store, Google’s online store for web applications for the browser. The store opened in December.

June 2011

Chrome becomes an operating system, dubbed Chrome OS.

February 2012

Google launches Chrome Beta for Android 4.0 devices, bringing the browser to smartphones. Also, as privacy concerns build, Google says Chrome will allow users to tackle tracking by implementing the Do Not Track standard.

October 2014

Google releases an extension that allows Chrome to automatically translate web pages from languages that users don’t speak.

March 2015

Google releases the data saver extension for Chrome, which cuts the amount of data used by the browser.

April 2016

The 50th version of Chrome is released, a milestone for the browser. .

May 2016

Google overtakes Microsoft in usage terms to be crowned the undisputed champion in the browser battles.

August 2016

After launching Cast as an extension for the browser in 2014, Google builds cast fully into Chrome.

May 2017

Augmented reality and VR gets in the game, with a version of Chrome designed for those platforms.

July 2018

Google pushes a more secure web, warning that sites not using HTTPS will be flagged as “not secure” to users. Chrome 67 enables the site isolation feature across desktop versions to help mitigate against attacks exploiting the Spectre vulnerability discovered in processors.

September 2018

Chrome turns 10, and gets a redesign.