Chrome 8 is still the official stable version and more adventurous users can grab the Chrome 9 beta or even the cutting edge Chrome 10 dev channel release. But if you want an even fresher build, you're in luck, there is now a Chrome 11 Canary build and the latest Chromium builds are sharing the version number.Those that follow Chrome's development closely will know that version numbers mean very little for the Google team. Still, they represent a milestone and a new development cycle. And you get the bragging rights for running a build three major versions ahead of most people.
This is the first step towards Chrome 11, which is still a few months away. The Christmas holidays are responsible for a delay in the regular release schedule, so Chrome 9 is still not stable, despite being in beta for a month and a half now.
The 'venerable' Chrome 8 is on its way out though as the stable release of Chrome 9 is now very close, likely within a week. Google Chrome 9.0.597.83 is the latest beta release.
Meanwhile, Chrome 10 has started its road towards becoming beta, the dev channel is stuck at Chrome 10.0.648.* with the build version being '.6'. This is the build that will become beta and eventually be the stable release.
For the next couple of weeks or so, the dev channel will only receive bug fixes, which explains why the Canary builds are now sporting the 11 version number.
Users who want to always have the very latest version and that don't care much for stability fixes, can install Chrome 11 Canary, along whichever regular version of Chrome they want.
Using the open source Chromium is another option, it is the absolutely cutting edge release after all, but it's not a direct replacement for Chrome and lacks some features as well as the handy auto updates.
Chromium 11 for Windows is available for download here.
Chromium 11 for Mac is available for download here.