There's a lot of great commentary out there on Google's new Chrome browser, but the most insightful and incisive review I've seen thus far is Andrew Orlowski's piece for The Register, wherein he calls out Chrome as a "Trojan Horse for...Google Gears."
Today, Chrome is simply a technology demonstration - and I can't see Firefox users with their carefully-cultivated selection of add-ons, or Opera users, making the jump any time soon. But Chrome is a Trojan Horse for bundling Google's Gears onto your PC - and in the hope that manufacturers look to Google services for new Eee-type lightweight PCs, perhaps running something like gOS, the Ubuntu-derivative.
Gears is simply designed to make Google's online services more attractive, and makes it looks like Google's is setting the standard: leading where everyone else follows.
No one thought this was just about building a better browser. In that department, Firefox is and will remain the hands-down favorite for anyone not shackled to Internet Explorer (and Firefox is much faster for most applications). Indeed, I suspect that Firefox still has a big hand to play on its own as the standard platform for Web applications.
But Google is about to crank up its Microsoft-killer strategy a notch. Adding a retail component--built on top Ubuntu, most likely--would be the finishing touch. But long before Google takes that road, it needs to get application developers in its corner. Enter Chrome.
It's an interesting play, and certainly one worth watching as the juggernaut of the desktop (Microsoft) dukes it out with the juggernaut of the Web (Google). Fun times.