Google has released a beta version of its new Chrome browser to compete with Microsoft. Initial reports are that it is substantially faster than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, although it has some way to go before it offers all of Explorer’s functionality. Initially available for download for Windows Vista and XP, Google plans to expand its Chrome offerings to the Mac and Linux platforms as well. The company doesn’t offer any timeline for these versions, though. Initial sentiment seems to be “wait for the first full release”.