At the ChromeOS event today, Google announced some significant improvements to the Chrome browser including their new Crankshaft Javascript rendering engine which should make it to Mac builds at some point soon.

Crankshaft uses adaptive compilation to improve both start-up time and peak performance. The idea is to heavily optimize code that is frequently executed and not waste time optimizing code that is not. Because of this, benchmarks that finish in just a few milliseconds, such as SunSpider, will show little improvement with Crankshaft. The more work an application does, the bigger the gains will be.

Also, Google announced that the Chrome browser is used by 120M users which is 300% increase over a year ago.

Most importantly, they announced their ChromeOS beta, which seems pretty impressive but won’t launch until the middle of next year.  Until then, they are passing out little unmarked 12-inch black notebooks to beta testers that will be on Verizon’s network.  Initial hardware partners (again, next year) will be Intel, Samsung and Acer with more to follow.

Chrome, the browser, shares the Webkit framework with Apple’s Safari so advances in the browser also benefit Safari.

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Seth Weintraub

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