OK, seriously, how many times in the past year did you tell yourself “if only I had another web browser to choose from”? Yet for some reason, Google has decided to drop another one on us. I already have Opera, Firefox, Safari and IE to choose from; and that’s not counting specialized versions of these such as Flock. So the major question is: does Chrome offer anything new? Let’s browse through their announcement:

On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn’t the browser that matters. It’s only a tool to run the important stuff — the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go.

OK, this is coming from the people that brought us the Google Toolbar, and that is now offering all kinds of image-based ads instead of the “clean and fast” text-based ads we used to love? 

Under the hood, we were able to build the foundation of a browser that runs today’s complex web applications much better. By keeping each tab in an isolated “sandbox”, we were able to prevent one tab from crashing another and provide improved protection from rogue sites. We improved speed and responsiveness across the board.

OK, great. But doesn’t giving each tab it’s own sandbox increase memory and CPU usage? We’ll have to wait until the beta is released for a verdict on this, but so far I think this might be an improvement over the current generation of browsers.

We also built a more powerful JavaScript engine, V8, to power the next generation of web applications that aren’t even possible in today’s browsers.

Right. Isn’t the Webkit team already working on this? Why not work with them?

And finally:

We owe a great debt to many open source projects, and we’re committed to continuing on their path. We’ve used components from Apple’s WebKit and Mozilla’s Firefox, among others — and in that spirit, we are making all of our code open source as well. We hope to collaborate with the entire community to help drive the web forward.

So what rendering engine are they using? Webkit or Gecko? And will the code be released before or after that Android source code we’re all waiting for? For now, we’ll have to wait and see how this develops. One thing is certain: Google has managed to get the entire blogosphere excited. Like millions of others, I’ll be downloading the beta as soon as it is available; after that, we’ll be able to see whether this is just another ad-delivery platform for Google or a serious alternative for the other browsers.