Following Matt Cutts’s tweet I am now writing my blog post using the CrossOver Chromium browser which is a Mac and Linux port of the open source Chromium web browser. Google Chrome (Windows-only so far) is built with open source code from Chromium that means I have now a functional Google Chrome clone under Leopard on my MacBook. This is almost the same experience just like 2 weeks ago. I can use the omnibox, the new home tab and the very clever tab arhictecture amongst others but first of all the browser is now more or less integrated into my customized OS X environment and that is a big advantage. There are of course, inconveniences like crashes and problems with the shortcuts due to the Windows – Mac crossover solutions (which can be modestly modified with Preferences).
CrossOver Chromium was ported with the open source Wine technology “allowing Windows executables to be run as-if-natively on Intel-based Unix operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X”. Serving as a technology proof-of-concept to demonstrate Wine’s capabilities for rapidly migrating Windows software to Linux and Mac Chromium itself doesn’t have an autoupdater. Until the official beta release of Chrome for Mac CrossOver Chromium is a good toy for those who want to mix together what they like in Google’s new browser and Mac OS X right now and for the first time.
Update from a Blogoscoped Q&A with Brian Rakowski, Google group product manager:
Chromium is the name of the direct, unbranded release of Chrome. How long do you expect the delay to be between new features making it from Chromium to Chrome? And who do you think might want to install Chromium mostly?
Chromium builds are the equivalent of Firefox nightly builds and unofficial alphas and betas. We only expect developers and testers to use those. We hope to have as short a release cycle as possible while still delivering a quality, reliable product.