Chrome 13 Stable as Google Pays 17K for Bug Fixes

Google's Chrome browser version 13 is stable, featuring Instant Pages predictive search technology, print preview for Windows and Linux machines, as well as a better omnibox. Also featuring: 30 bug fixes.

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Google has taken Chrome version 13 stable (technically Chrome 13.0.782.107), fixing several bugs and turning the search engine's new Instant Pages feature on as the browser's default. The next step in Google's predictive-search technology, Instant Pages is based on a Google-developed prerendering technology that prepares the top search result in the background while a user chooses which link to click. The company says this saves users two to five seconds on typical searches.

Ideally, this technology removes the latency many Web pages exhibit when users click on them. This could, in turn, possibly entice more people to tap Chrome-which has a 13.5 percent market share worldwide-as their search browser of choice.

Also with Chrome 13, print preview is available for Windows and Linux users. The technology, which is, as usual, not yet available yet for Macs, leverages Google's built-in PDF viewer and a "print to PDF" option.

Finally, Chrome's omnibox address bar and search box have been improved to more easily let users go back to pages they've visited before. Users need only type part of the Web page's address or title to find matching pages from their search history in the dropdown menu. While there had been some talk about the omnibox going away, clearly that's not the case in this iteration.

A major focus of the 5,200 improvements in the browser is bug fixes. Google and participating third-party experts found and plugged 30 of them, as the search engine paid out $17,000 to "bug squashers." "Miaubiz" earned $7,500 for detecting various exploits, including $1,000 each for so-called "use after free" exploits.

Sergey Glazunov, a fixture among the bug hunters, netted $3,000 total. That included $1,500 apiece for finding a cross-origin script injection and cross-origin violation in base URI handling. See the complete list of found flaws and payouts in this blog post.

In other Chrome-related news, Google is now making it possible for developers in a host of countries to complete merchant account sign up and start adding their paid apps to the Chrome Web Store.

Google-which last month created the In App Payments API to enable developers to receive payments for applications they sell in the Chrome Web Store in 140 countries-also added the ability to target or exclude specific markets.

Specifically, Chrome Web Store developers can publish their apps only to the following regions: Argentina, Australia, Austria (new), Belgium (new), Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic (new), Denmark (new), Finland (new), France, Germany, Hong Kong (new), India, Indonesia (new), Israel (new), Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand (new), Norway (new), Philippines (new), Poland, Portugal, Russia (new), Singapore (new), Spain, Sweden (new), Switzerland (new) and the U.S. and U.K.