As if our web developers didn't already have enough standards-fudging and code-juggling to optimize websites for every conceivable end-user browser, Google launched the public release of Google Chrome today — and I was right in line to download it. The Installation .exe file was small (a little over 400 kb), only to connect to the internet and download the entire binary. I am writing this very post using the new browser, and here are some of my initial opinions on the new kid on the block.

Upon installation, I fell in love with its menu bar. I recently purchased an Eee PC 901, which has a maximum resolution of 1024×600 — so screen real estate is of particular interest to me. The menu/navigation is a minimalist's dream: tabs at the very top, address bar, drop-down menus from within the address bar. The extra 50 or so vertical pixels it saves on my screen is quite noticeable on this netbook when compared to Mozilla Firefox.

Each tab in Google Chrome is treated as a different process (at least in Windows XP) when I open up the task manager. I am not really sure what this does in terms of efficiency, but it is a different approach than Firefox (which I have been known to inflate to nearly a gigabyte through the over-use of tabs). If you have an opinion on this technical matter, please, let us know in the comments!

The Chrome's default start page is like the desktop version of iGoogle. It will apparently track the most visited sites, and display them in page previews for easy access. I am not convinced of this yet, but it could turn out to be a great addition to a streamlined product.

I fooled around a bit on Meebo, YouTube, Wikipedia, Gmail, Flickr, and some WordPress installations, all without encountering any glaring errors or compliancy issues.*

Since the blogs and forums I frequent will be all ablaze about this over the coming months, I thought I'd get my limited initial reaction to the product out there with the promise of a full review to come. Something to add? Drop it in the comments.

*Update: The WYSIWYG editor in WordPress doesn't appear to be very compatible with Google Chrome. More comparisons and compatibility issues to come in the full review.