A clear example of giving Google ~infinite benefit of the doubt, and little to Apple, Microsoft, or Mozilla.org. I also sense that many people who have nice things to say about the contents of the comic book that leaked Google's Chrome plans haven't closely studied the IE8 feature list.
To Google, the browser has become a weak link in the cloud system - the needle's eye through which the outputs of the company's massive data centers usually have to pass to reach the user - and as a result the browser has to be rethought, revamped, retooled, modernized. Google can't wait for Microsoft or Apple or the Mozilla Foundation to make the changes (the first has mixed feelings about promoting cloud apps, the second is more interested in hardware than in clouds, and the third, despite regular infusions of Google bucks, lacks resources), so Google is jump-starting the process with Chrome.
Although I'm sure Google would be thrilled if Chrome grabbed a sizable chunk of market share, winning a "browser war" is not its real goal. Its real goal, embedded in Chrome's open-source code, is to upgrade the capabilities of all browsers so that they can better support (and eventually disappear behind) the applications. The browser may be the medium, but the applications are the message.