Google tests design without navigation bar

Google has begun testing a new design for its homepage and services that does away with the top black bar that links together all of its services. 

First noticed by The Next Web, the change appears in the Google Chrome Canary build, where Google usually tests new features before rolling them out to the masses. Within, various Google sites don't feature a top bar, including on Google.com, Gmail, Google Search, and more. 

At the moment it seems like an odd change, that could potentially hurt traffic for Google and usability for the user. But given this is a test and limited to a small number of users at the time of posting, there could be a lot more to come. 

What comes to mind is another recent test by Google along the same lines. The search company implemented a drop-down box next to a "sign in" button that listed several sites that were listed in the black bar. It has since been changed. This seems to be an area Google is actively exploring.

Google is always testing new designs with its services, so things are prone to change, but move just seems odd. 

What do you think of the black bar removal?