I am typing this from Google Chrome, the new web browser that was announced yesterday (after news of it were accidentally leaked) and released about two hours ago. It is blazingly fast! And even without maximizing the browser window, there is so much screen area for viewing the web pages, due to the minimal space used by the tab bar and the "omnibox" (a combined address and search bar) -- and there's no menu bar or status bar to clutter your view. You can drag tabs out of the browser window to view the web page in a separate window -- now that's something I'd like to see in Firefox! Although only a beta release, it appears that the Google Chrome team has already fulfill their goal of creating a fast, responsive and simple-to-use Web browser.
Each browser tab in Google Chrome runs in its own process, and the implications of this is huge. It means that it's easy to isolate which web pages are using up excessive memory and CPU cycles (there is a task manager that lets you see performance stats on all open browser tabs), putting the onus squarely on the web developer to make their web pages more leaner and efficient. And from a stabililty standpoint, if a misbehaving web page crashes a browser tab, it won't take down the whole application with it.
Screen shot of Google Chrome
Check out the incredibly cool comic book, with characters resembling the members of the development team explaining Google Chrome and all of its features in depth. The beta release, initially for Windows only, is now available for download.
There are a few missing features that, I think, needs to be added, like spell checking in web page form fields, and print preview -- but overall, the quality of the product is surprisingly high for such an early beta release.