First released as a beta version for Microsoft Windows in September 2008, Google Chrome is a web browser developed by Google that uses the WebKit layout engine and application framework. For a product that was initially opposed by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Chrome has come a long way in the “alternative” (read: non-IE) web browser space.
According to Statcounter, Chrome was the third most used web browser (13%) worldwide as of November 2010, behind Firefox (31%) and ahead of Safari (4.7%). According to Google,
“The store will be featured prominently in Chrome, helping people discover great apps and developers reach millions of users around the world,” says Google’s blog, noting that in 2010 alone, “the number of people using Chrome has tripled from 40 to 120 million.”
In no time, the TweetDeck has apparently jumped to the head of the pack:
“In the 3 days since the launch of the Chrome Web Store, our Chrome TweetDeck has had 45,851 users and been installed 62,477 times. To give these numbers some context it’s useful to compare them with the “big boys” of the Web Store such as the New York Times (43,542 users – 56,215 weekly installs) and Gmail (40,783 users – 37,921 weekly installs).”
The current layout is as simple and straightforward as a central repository should be. In the long run, the launch is a positive nod for the developer community, which now has yet another distribution channel for their creations in the form of mobile apps, browser applications, add-ons or themes.
In related (and potentially converging) news, Google has also made the case that “Chrome is enterprise ready,” opened the mobile “App Inventor for Android” to all Google account holders and announced Intel-based Chrome OS notebooks from Acer and Samsung to be available in mid-2011, with Verizon Wireless providing integrated 3G cellular connectivity.