Since Chrome’s official release some two days ago it certainly has gotten a lot of press, both positive and negative.
On the positive side, there are some reports that Chrome’s market share has already surpassed that of Opera, coming in at close to 2.5% when I last checked. These results should be taken with a grain of salt, as Clicky’s web analytics might only be used by websites that tend to be visited by those more technically-inclined and thus more likely to try out something like Chrome. (Though Chrome’s visibility on Google’s main page no doubt has some small part in its fast growth)
For what it’s worth, Google Analytics on my lowly-trafficked site amounted to over 4% of hits in the past five days. (Google Analytics has since started identifying Chrome as a specific browser type, no surprise)
Microsoft, meanwhile, still seems to have their heads in the sand when it comes to IE. True, IE7 still have a substantial margin on any other browser but that lead has been steadily sinking. Though IE8 will likely be a vast improvement over IE7 and seeks to erase all memories of the abomination that was IE6, it looks like Microsoft will have its work cut out with the stiff competition from Firefox and Chrome.
The release was not without controversy, as since this product was from Google, many privacy concerns were voiced. There were concerns about the “GoogleUpdate.exe” process that is installed with Chrome, which apparently allows for higher privileges to install software, which understandably freaked out some users. Generally, unwanted processes running in the background are just the thing the tinfoil-hat wearers are looking for.
Additionally, some keen-eyed users who perused the EULA discovered that Google had apparently tried to claim ownership of all content posted through Chrome. (Who actually reads a EULA?) Evidently, it was all a mishap, as Google quickly moved to correct the errors in the TOS. Apparently, in the rush to release Chrome, a “standard” TOS was used as the basis for the EULA, most likely similar to the ones covering services like Blogger, etc.
My own experiences
Personally, I’m very pleased with the browser. The “application shortcut” feature is very nice as it makes web apps like Gmail integrate very nicely with the desktop. I can’t wait to setup my Mom’s computer with shortcuts to things like Gmail that will undoubtedly make her life easier.
I guess the “Beta” tag and the lack of a full version number excuse these problems, though it looks as if the list of bugs is already quite extensive. Google’s bug tracker for Chrome lists over a thousand bugs/feature requests currently, though likely many of them are duplicates. (Google is, however, following the trend of using the “Beta” moniker in an increasingly loose manner)