Google’s Chrome was introduced as a beta for Windows in September last year, and version 1.0 came out December 11th. The basis of Chrome was open source projects released under several licenses. Up until now, you can use it only through Parallels, Fusion, Boot Camp, or a similar Windows-on-the-Mac solution. In response, Mesa Dynamics released a browser called Stainless that shares many of the features found in Google’s Chrome browser.

The beta is available at www.stainlessapp.com. A defining feature of Stainless is that it’s aware of multiple sessions. This means that you can be logged in to a password-protected site, open a new window, and need to log in again. The employ a system of private cookies to make it all happen.

I installed the software onto my iBook last night and went to Apple’s private service website, which is password protected. After establishing this connection, I opened a new tab and again had to log in to the service site. I then returned to the original tab, logged out, and returned to the second tab to see that the session was still open and unaffected by the actions taken in the first tab. Cool. For the second test, I tried out Facebook, but the sessions were linked across each tab. I guess you can’t win them all, and this is of course beta software not yet fit for mass consumption.

Stainless is sleek, and I find it to be every bit as fast as Safari. It uses a little less real estate at the top of your screen than Safari. The navigation bar, tabs, and buttons are all pulled from a common library of graphics, so the buttons are very similar to Safari, with the exception of bookmarks, which are held on a shelf along the left of the page. I think that’s where they find the space to make the toolbar thinner and save space.

When passing over embedded links, the address of the link that you may click on are displayed at the bottom of the window. I find it interesting to display that information. Maybe it’s an addition to preference they’ll change in the future.

When in use, to add a tab, you click on the plus sign above the address bar to open a new tab. As in Safari, you may create a new tab with the keyboard shortcut command-T. I’ve only used it for a few short hours at home after work. I do like the look and have few qualms at this point. It’ll be interesting to watch this browser grow up!

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