Ron, don't be confused!
Yes, Picasa handles all the RAWs I've thrown at it - Sony, Nikon, Canon. In the Picasa FAQs it states that it will open RAW files from:
Canon (.CRW, .CR2)
Kodak (.DCR, .KDC)
Leica (.DNG and .RAW)
Nikon (.NEF, .NRW)
Panasonic (.RAW, .RW2)
It DOES handle the ARW files from both my A230 and A580.
What makes Picasa so good in my mind, is that it allows me to:
1. Arrange/sort/store photos in the way I want. With Picasa, you can set it to scan selected folders for new photos. You can then sort them according to your desire. If you want to shuffle them around, you can.
2. Create virtual albums - one picture appear in many places, but there remains only one physical copy of it on your disk drive. The problem of multiple copies is eliminated.
3. Perform basic edits - brightness, colour, contrast, highlights, shadows, fill light, blemish removal, add text and EXIF captions, crop, straighten, and a handful of special effects. These are NON-DESTRUCTIVE - your original remains intact. This is the most important feature to me.
4. Export pictures with a copyright notice overlaid in an appropriate colour. If the photo is dark, the notice is light; on light photos it is dark.
5. Export to a size of my choice.
6. Print a variety of picture sizes.
7. Email photos - they are created with just the right amount of compression/resizing for those who still use dial up (often the elderly) or who mailbox limits.
I really do recommend that you give it a try. If you don't like it, it uninstalls without leaving too much debris (any that is left is easily removed by searching for anything called Picasa). It won't give you the control offered by Lightroom or RAW Therapee, but for quick and dirty edits it is superb. Picasa is a tea shop; Lightroom istea at the Ritz.
It's free, and I am a fan of it. I used to teach basic digital camera skills to adults (mainly retired people using point and shoot cameras) and I always introduced them to Picasa. They loved it.
One other benefit (for Windows users) is that it doesn't litter your system with dll files and registry hooks. In fact, it appears to be isolated from the operating system. This means that you can use Picasa as a portable application. So, locate the installation folder (C:\Program Files\Google\Picasa3 on my Windows 7 PC) and drag it onto a USB stick. Now, wherever you go, you can run Picasa and amaze everyone who's watching you with this clever little program. It consumes 77Mb of disk space on my PC, by the way, so it is compact.
Sorry for the rambling response.