Google Chrome Stable Is Now Running Side-by-Side With Beta & Dev variants

When you install Google Chrome Beta or Dev versions on your Windows computer, it overwrites and replaces the stable version. This keeps things fairly simple and neat, as home users won't have multiple versions of Chrome on their PC. The problem with that, however, is the Beta and Dev versions really aren't intended for home users -- even though some still use them. Those unstable versions are intended for testing, meaning having them run side-by-side, like with the Canary builds, would actually be preferable.

Thankfully, Google has now decided to change the default behavior on Windows so that Google Chrome stable can run side-by-side with both the Beta and Dev variants. This means a web developer, for instance, can easily test their page with all three builds at the same time. When you include Canary, that means you could have, in theory, four variants of Chrome at different development stages running at once. Unfortunately, macOS users are excluded from this side-by-side fun -- for now at least.

"Starting today, Chrome Beta and Chrome Dev can be installed on the same Windows computer as stable Chrome and run simultaneously, allowing developers to more easily test their site across multiple versions of Chrome. This means side-by-side Chrome installation is available on Windows, Android, and Linux, and will be made available on other platforms in future releases," says Greg Thompson, Google.

Thompson also shares, "To install Chrome Beta or Chrome Dev, visit the Chromium release channels page. If you already have Chrome Dev or Beta and wish to run it side-by-side with stable Chrome, you'll need to uninstall it and then reinstall from this page. To easily transfer your bookmarks, settings, and other data, sign in to Chrome before you uninstall."

Truth be told, even though I just use Chrome for web browsing and not testing, I still typically run the Dev version on Windows and Linux as it has historically been very stable for me, and I like having the latest-and-greatest. Show-stopping bugs have proven to be quite rare -- for me at least -- so there has almost never been a need to revert back to stable. It is nice to know that if any serious bugs do show up, I can install Stable without nuking my Dev install on Windows. Of course, the intended audience -- quite literally developers -- will see the biggest benefit from this move.

If you would like to install the Beta and Dev versions of Chrome, you can get them here.