The intertubes are positively being flooded with what has to be some of the biggest browser news since Apple debuted MobileSafari on the iPhone: Google is getting in the game.

The advertising juggernaut has revealed that they'll soon be releasing "Chrome" (Beta), built on the same Apple-contributed, open source WebKit framework that forms the foundation of Safari on OS X (and also powers Nokia and Adobe web rendering). Paul Thurrott secured the screenshots above (with accompanying analysis), and Apple Insider gets deep down into the guts of the thing, including it's sandboxed tabs, "incognito" surf mode, and V8 Javascript engine. A Windows version will ship first, followed by Mac and Linux some point in the future.

Google, via referral fees for the search boxes built into Firefox and Safari, has bankrolled Mozilla, and to a lesser extent, Apple's browser for years. Will creating Chrome and making a play for the browser and WebApp space turn some former allies into enemies? Google's already begun down that path with the Android OS for handsets, and in the content space via Knol and YouTube (though they've thus far not managed to monetize it).

Looking for some Apple-like 360 degree spherical integration of their own, perhaps? And, as Google seems poised to become the next Microsoft, are we still safe in believing that whole "don't be evil" motto?