Google Chrome is a web browser developed by Google that uses the WebKit layout engine. It was first released as a beta version for Microsoft Windows on September 2, 2008, and the public stable release was on December 11, 2008. The name is derived from the graphical user interface frame, or "chrome", of web browsers. As of November 2011, Chrome is the second most widely used browser with 25.69% worldwide usage share of web browsers and the most popular browser in South America, according to StatCounter.
The browser was first publicly released for Microsoft Windows (XP and later versions) on September 2, 2008 in 43 languages, officially a beta version.Chrome quickly gained about 1% market share despite being only available for Microsoft Windows at that time. After the initial surge, usage share dropped until it hit a low of 0.69% in October 2008. It then started rising again and by December 2008, Chrome again passed the 1% threshold.
In early January 2009, CNET reported that Google planned to release versions of Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux in the first half of the year. The first official Chrome Mac OS X and Linux developer previews were announced on June 4, 2009 with a blog post saying they were missing many features and were intended for early feedback rather than general use.
In December 2009, Google released beta versions of Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux. Google Chrome 5.0, announced on May 25, 2010, was the first stable release to support all three platforms.
Chrome was one of the twelve browsers offered to European Economic Area users of Microsoft Windows in 2010.