Chrome 25 Stable Debuts on Chrome OS, Ahead of Desktop Release

It adds extended monitor support and Intelligent Window positioning

Google Chrome 25 is just about to make its debut in the stable channel, graduating from the beta channel. But, in a reversal of the usual case, desktop users are left waiting while Chrome OS users are now already getting the update.

Well, not all Chrome OS users, Samsung Chromebooks are getting Chrome 25 just yet, but everyone else is. Chrome 25.0.1364.87, part of Chrome OS 2428.149.0, is now being pushed through the automated update channel.

While it's nice for Chrome OS to be first for once, most people won't even notice that something has changed, most of the updates and new features are under the hood. There are a couple of things they'll notice though.

Chrome 25 introduces the new Intelligent Window positioning, an automated mode which aims to maximize the space used by windows and show you more of them at any time.

Those using multiple monitors are in for a great surprise though, there is now support for an Extended Desktop Mode, which means you'll be able to stretch across all the space you have available, previously you could either use an external monitor separately, or clone the laptop screen on the external monitor.

The update should be particularly useful for Chromeboxes, though there probably aren't that many people using these devices with multiple monitors.

There's also a new Pepper Flash plugin, version 11.6.602.169, and support for HTML5 Content Decryption Module for WebM. With that, Encrypted Media Extensions are now enabled by default.

This is actually the dreaded HTML5 DRM that has been causing some stir recently. Microsoft, Google and Netflix have proposed an API for DRM plugins, so that encrypted video streams can be served via HTML5.

Plenty of people believe this is a bad idea, but the beauty of having your own browser, for better or for worse, is that you don't have to wait for something to become standard or for others to implement it. Google certainly isn't waiting.

There are several more small changes in Chrome 25 and plenty of fixes under the hood. The update should be arriving soon, if it hasn't already, and will be installed in the background.

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