Gruber's note on the Chromium Bug Report: Close Tab Button on the Wrong Side feels misguided to me. I suspect he's missing the point. To Google, Chrome is the important piece. The Mac hardware and Mac OS X running the browser are just support infrastructure.

When you run a browser on a Dell, you don't expect it to have a Dell-compatible UI (I always hated those customized IE flavors with ISP logos & advertising). The fact that it's Dell hardware isn't important at the browser level. Google is trying to get us all to a point where Mac OS X / Windows / Linux are similarly irrelevant -- just APIs they compile to, while everything important happens inside Chrome.

The Chrome OS demo makes this very clear -- they are throwing out as much of the classic OS as they can, so we can live entirely inside the Chrome browser. But that means Google has to replace some of those capabilities, because a browser itself isn't enough to boot a computer (even a netbook). This might also help explain why the OS and browser are both named Chrome ("Chrome OS" isn't much of a name). Now it's confusing, because one is a netbook-optimized operating system while the other is a browser, but it seems clear that Google's objective is that we should decide to run Chrome, and that should be enough. This way Chrome gives us access to Google and the Internet -- who cares about how it works? I turn on my computer, and I'm online. That's a logical vision for Google, casual users, netbook users, people who have grown up using Google, etc.

From that perspective, it's much more important that Chrome's tabs always be consistent with Chrome, whether you happen to be using a Mac Pro or a Dell Mini 10. It doesn't much matter whether Chrome looks the same as other (Mac) apps.