The busy Google Bees are hard at work building Mac and Linux versions of their Webkit-based Chrome browser. The Chrome browser currently runs only on Windows but is gaining a significant following, especially amongst heavy Google Apps users.
The main advantage so far in Chrome is that each tab runs independently of the others. Unique among browsers, this means if something goes wrong in a tab, the other tabs are unaffected. In other browsers like Safari Firefox and IE, a misbehaving tab usually causes the whole browser to be restarted. Chrome also natively supports Google Gears which allows users to take their Google Apps offline. Firefox and Safari require plugins.
Due out in mid-2009, the world today got a first look at Chome for the Mac from Mike Pinkerton's blog on Mozillazine (strange place for a WebKit-based Chrome blog, no?) He posted a screenshot of the Chome development homepage in Chrome for Mac:
...and what happens when a Chome page crumbles:
My personal view of Chrome and its importance to Google isn't that Google necessarily wants the whole world to use Chrome. It is more like a showcase of what a browser can do and it allows Google a way to add code into the Webkit framework that makes its products easier and more effective to use. Oh, and then there is Android, the Google OS.