Though adding another browser to our already rigorous bevvy of website testing doesn't appeal to me, having new such programs help drive web innovation is always welcome. Case in point: today's beta release of Google Chrome.
At first glance, the currently Windows only app is certainly slim, trim and offers up standards like tabbed browsing, a suggestion-centric location toolbar, and websites that look pretty much as one would expect (still a pleasant surprise since the days of IE6). Loading of complex tools like 37 Signals' Basecamp and busy sites like ESPN.com is snappy. The default lack of a bottom-anchored status bar is refreshing. I especially appreciate how clearly the page tabs stand out at the top of the program and I'm really into the color coding in the location bar that had an unsigned secure site's "https" red with a diagonal slash through it, and constantly keeps the core part of a domain name dark while all that annoying fluff that comes after a lighter shade of gray. I've even gone through to check on rich text editing functionality on some of our client's sites and things are looking good there as well.
With the release of Google Chrome, I get a pretty strong sense that we'll be seeing more of this once mobile devices that utilize Google Android start hitting store shelves. It makes sense to me for any browser effort there to be ported for everyone's use on the desktop. Is this another move toward a full on Google OS for your desktop? Time will only tell.
So what do you think? It's still early, but feel free to post your impressions, pro's, con's and other Google Chrome related thoughts in the comments below.