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By 30 March 2012 | Categories: news

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Google has made the latest stable edition of its Chrome web browser available for download. The release of Chrome 18 follows right in the wake of Mozilla’s recent release of Firefox 11, and includes new functionality such as GPU-accelerated Canvas 2D.  

The company enabled GPU-accelerated Canvas 2D for capable Windows-running PCs as well as Mac computers, stating that this move should result in resource-heavy web applications, such as games, running more smoothly within its browser.

Users that employ older computers will appreciate the fact that Google has built WebGL into the new version of Chrome. According to the company, this will enable users to view more compelling 3D content on the web.

Since the search giant wants to make this technology available to as many users as possible, it has licensed TransGaming’s SwiftShader software, so that users with older configurations will still be able to experience decent 3D performance via software rendering.

Users who are new to Chrome can go to Google’s page to download (Windows version is less than 1 MB) version 18 of the browser. Those who already have Chrome installed on their PC can simply click on the wrench icon and select “About Google Chrome” to start the automatic update process.  

In related news, Net Applications’ most recent monthly desktop browser stats show that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) still commands the lion share (52.84%) of the global browser usage pie. Mozilla’s Firefox browser’s share amounts to 20.92.%, whilst Google’s Chrome holds down a share of 18.9%.

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