Google has released the eighth full version of Chrome, introducing a built-in PDF viewer and over 800 bugfixes to the desktop browser.
Chrome 8.0.552.215, which came out on Thursday, is also the first version of the browser to support the soon-to-emerge Chrome Web Store, although the web app repository itself has not yet been launched. The PDF functionality built into Chrome 8 operates within a sandbox, a feature intended to mitigate the security risks that are sometimes associated with Adobe's web-standard document format.
The new version of Chrome comes only six weeks or so after Chrome 7 made its debut, bringing improved 3D graphics handling. The next version of the browser, Chrome 9, is expected to introduce hardware acceleration. This feature, which will bring Google's browser in line with Microsoft's market-leading Internet Explorer 9, was originally supposed to appear in Chrome 8.
Statistics released on Thursday show Chrome to be gaining global market share quite rapidly — up from 8.5 percent in October to 9.3 percent in November. That gain appears to be coming at the expense of Internet Explorer.