Google Inc.'s new beta of its Chrome browser for the Mac is nearly twice as fast as Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox, but it can't keep up with Apple Inc.'s Safari, benchmark tests show.
But Chrome can't match Safari 4.0.4's speed: Apple's browser is approximately 12% faster than Google's beta.
That's different than the situation on Windows, where Chrome has been billed as the fastest browser around. The last time Computerworld tested Chrome on Windows -- in September, with Chrome 3.0 -- Google's browser handily beat all rivals, including second-place Safari.
Chrome currently accounts for approximately 4% of all browsers used worldwide, according to the most recent data from Web metrics company Net Applications. The vast majority of Chrome's share, however, is on Windows; before Tuesday, only rougher development builds had been available for the Mac.
In comparison, IE has a 64% share and Mozilla's Firefox has a 25%. Only Opera, with just 2% of the browser usage share, trails Chrome.
The Chrome Mac beta can be downloaded from Google's Web site. It requires Mac OS X 10.5, a.k.a. Leopard, or later, and runs only on Intel-based Macs.