Whether you love or hate Google's Chrome browser, you're not alone if you decided to try it – according to a study on US internet users, almost two million people downloaded the beta in the first week of availability.
The figures from a study by Nielsen Online, quoted yesterday by CNet
, show 1.93 million visitors from the US hitting the post-install 'Thank You' page on Google between the 1st of September and the 7th of September. To put that figure into perspective, that means that around 1.4 percent of all
Internet users in the US have downloaded and installed Chrome – a phenomenal result for a barely-advertised beta product.
Jon Stewart, research director for technology and search at Nielsen Online, believes that this figure is largely due to the healthy amount of discussion on blogs and forums around the web: “[Chrome] was mentioned in nearly one percent of all online discussions the day after its launch – a respectable slightly-more-than-half of what the highly anticipated iPhone 3G generated when it launched earlier this summer.
That alone should give an indication of the massive following Google has: despite launching the browser with precisely zero fanfare and a non-existing marketing budget, it generated around half as much buzz as the much-hyped iPhone and its multi-million dollar advertising campaigns. If I were Apple, I'd be taking notes right about now.
The figures for the number of downloads tell only part of the story, of course: just because a curious individual tries the software out doesn't mean that they continue to use it as their main browser. Many individuals have installed Chrome for testing purposes, or to make use of its incognito mode for those 'special' moments. Only time will tell if Google has done enough with its maiden entry into the browser market to win over the minds of millions of Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer fans.
Did you bother to install Chrome? If so, are you still using it – or did the novelty quickly wear off? Share your experiences over in the forums