For a supposedly cutting-edge firm, Google surprised many when it launched its Chrome browser first on Windows only, leaving Mac and Linux users in the cold.

The Chrome launch in September last year on Windows inevitably spawned legions of Mac fans eager to help with getting their own version ready. Now, five months later, the first evidence of progress has been made public.

Simple start

A Google Group for Chrome developers has posted the first screenshots of Chrome running on OS X, along with a detailed description of the work done to date.

Before anyone gets too excited, we should say that the OS X Chrome project so far shows just a simple browser window running, with no bells and whistles and plenty of crashes in the screen-rendering engine that powers Chrome.

Clicking links doesn't work yet, but developers are positive about the groundwork they've done and are hopeful more progress will follow soon.

Keeps on running

One dev, Mike Pinkerton, explained: "Now mind you, clicking doesn't work, and the renderers crash like nobody's business, but the other great thing is that the user interface stays running even if they do. Just open a new tab and keep going!"

So far, so good, in other words – we predict a Mac release for Google's browser by spring, with something for Linux to follow soon after.