Google Chrome to be pre-installed on PCs in 2009?

Google Chrome to be pre-installed on PCs in 2009?

Summary: Google is reportedly thinking about cutting deals with PC makers to have its Chrome browser pre-installed on new computers, a move that could position the Internet giant to not only boost its presence in search but also put some of its branded apps - Gmail, Google Docs, Google Reader and others - in front of new users.According to a report in The Times, Google will likely start working those deals after it pulls the "beta" label from Chrome in early 2009.

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TOPICS: Browser, Google, Hardware
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Google is reportedly thinking about cutting deals with PC makers to have its Chrome browser pre-installed on new computers, a move that could position the Internet giant to not only boost its presence in search but also put some of its branded apps - Gmail, Google Docs, Google Reader and others - in front of new users.

According to a report in The Times, Google will likely start working those deals after it pulls the "beta" label from Chrome in early 2009. Likewise, it expects to release Mac and Linux versions of the browser in the first half of next year, which positions it to be accessible by 99 percent of computers.

This could be just the thing that Google needs to help pull more users into its suite of online applications. Already, popular services like Gmail are integrated with Google's calendar, IM, voice and video communications tools. And across the tops of Google pages are links to the other properties. Chrome also comes with an application shortcut feature, which allows you to place a shortcut icon on the desktop for a quick direct launch to that application in a new browser window.

Users tend to use the default browser that's pre-installed on a new computer - which is why Microsoft's Internet Explorer has long dominated that space. Google is still working out some issues with Chrome, which is technically still in beta, and has been quiet about marketing it. But the company told The Times that, once it's in full release, the company will be pushing it harder, highlighting all of the extra features (such as the application shortcuts) that differentiates it from other browsers.

One big challenge: advanced users - the same ones that tend to use the online apps - are big fans of Mozilla's Firefox browser and seem to be happy with it. Can Google offer enough differentiating features to get those users to switch, too?

Topics: Browser, Google, Hardware

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63 comments
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  • They can stuff it

    My new Dell Hybrid PC came with Google desktop installed, with it's sidebar and toolbars. What an annoying mess.

    It's still amazing that in 2008 a PC comes with more than just the OS installed.
    croberts
  • Google is actively doing their part to dismantle Microsoft.

    This is such a big move for Google , I support where they are coming from. Happy Thanksgiving!
    rtirman37@...
    • Why shove google crapware...

      ...where it isn't needed...
      hasta la Vista, bah-bie
      • Like we needed more...

        crapware loaded on OEM systems. Haven't they learned yet that consumers want to downlaod their own crapware themselves?
        ShadowGIATL
        • Tell it to Microsoft, IE, WMP to name a couple

          Hey, when the average user simply uses what's pre-installed what choice do you have if you're not Microsoft? Go Google! Rid the world of IE!
          GoPower
          • But

            If you build a compeling crap-free program then maybe you can convince people to switch. Just because you install Chrome doesn't get rid of IE. IE is also the file browser, and it will likely be included long after Google pays OEM's to include their browser. Not to mention that Google has yet to prove they can deliver a crap-free browser. They are, after all, ad driven, and history has shown ad driven companies to produce mostly crap loaded software.

            My point is, no matter how much you hate one piece of crap, it doesn't make it any better to replace it with yet another piece of crap, especially if you really haven't gotten rid of the original piece of crap.
            ShadowGIATL
  • Good luck not!

    So if you currently DON'T use the pre-installed internet exploder today, I very much doubt you'll be inclined to use chrome pre-installed tomorrow...

    Dude, Firefox is extensible - without a robust add-on library, chrome will never make points here...
    ridingthewind
    • 95% of internet users

      Do not know what a plug-in or extention is. So your point is kind of moot.
      Stuka
      • Actually,

        FF has 20% of the market, so clearly, the number of clueless internet users is less than 80%.

        In any case, the poster you responded to was actually referring to a demographic of users who DON'T simply use the default stuff but instead choose to shop around for something better. His point was that these persons will not use Chrome just because it's been placed as the default on new machines. People who actually pick their default browsers will not simply use Chrome because it's there.

        The real question to ask is how many of the 71% market share of IE could realistically be switched to Chrome. I think that Chrome could do lots of damage as long as they can overcome the push of IE8 by M$ onto Windows machines in 2009. That's going to be the tricky part for Google.

        And if Google is successful at opening the eyes of a significant proportion of IE users to other possibilities, it could actually benefit FF and Opera as well in the long term.
        eMJayy
        • There's a problem here...

          Per various ZDNet articles, Google Chrome apparently has some security issues. I have Firefox installed on my PC, and use it almost exclusively as my browser. It's been several months since I had to use IE. I'll wait on Chrome until I hear it's well past its beta version, and provides useful features that Firefox doesn't already have.
          gypkap@...
    • Good luck indeed...

      The biggest problem with Chrome is that it's designed as a per-user application. How do they expect to pre-install an application that can ONLY work from inside a user profile's application data?

      For this to happen Google needs to;

      * Completely change Chrome's installation method and move away from their "everyone can use it, even on locked down computers" mentatlity. Which is something they like, and therefore I think this story is bogus.

      * Re-engineer Chrome so that it can not only be deployed and repaired as a per-machine installation. It needs to store the application base files in the "Program Files" directories and only the user configuration settings in the profile "application data" folders.

      Neither will be a quick change and will likely change the code so much that they will need to re-enter the BETA stages. Unlikely.
      NKX
  • RE: Google Chrome to be pre-installed on PCs in 2009?

    What Netscape lacked was infinite amounts of money to fight Microsoft. Google has more money than they can ever use up, and they also have the willing cheerleading of HP, Dell and the other vendors to back them.

    Google doesn't want to make a profit, they want

    Death to Microsoft!
    tburzio
    • Too bad there is a difference

      between "Wanting" and "Having".

      They may [i]want[/i] death to Microsoft, too bad for them they will [i]have[/i] to settle for Microsoft allways in the picture.
      GuidingLight
      • that's true. Too late

        If they came along to unseat IE4, it may have been easier. Now IE is a good product. I tried Chrome and all the open windows (tabs) at once are unimpressive if they are all "stuck". I went back after one day. And I don't need advice on cleaning up my system. It was not happening with IE.
        sjbinaz
    • GUI?

      The main issue I can see with this being.
      Chrome's GUI.

      Firefox and IE share similarities in their GUI.
      Chrome is another matter.

      I believe many users would just dump chrome on the spot,
      as it's 'not what I'm used to'
      Which is the arguement of much of the 71% that still use IE over Firefox.
      And, those users who have sence would just install and default their usual browser.

      Google may get a little boost in marketshare, but not drastically in my oppinion.

      If Mozilla had that level of funding, they'd have crippled Microsoft on the browser world years ago.
      Dave-8128
  • Oh, great

    Just what we need: More crapware to wipe off of the computers before we can push them out to our users.
    itpro_z
    • IE?

      Are you implying Internet Explorer ISN'T crapware??
      ross2000
      • Considering...

        ...that we have a number of applications that absolutely require IE, then no, I would not classify it as crapware. We also use FF, but when it comes to connecting to our banking and state government sites, we have no choice but to use IE.

        Regarding Chrome, I remove any Google software that I find on sight, along with Apple software (iTunes, Safari, Quicktime), RealPlayer, and most toolbars. This applies to new machines as well as crap that my users download.
        itpro_z
        • Removing software...

          is a must in most IT environments. A lot of Google's crap interferes with other software and triggers alerts on firewalls as there software tracks what users do on the web. iTunes is even worse as it installs Bonjour that actually attempts to advertise that computer to other computers.

          In corporate IT you find yourself installing a lot of custom built software that the developer depends on that system being "clean" for it to work as desired.

          I think most of the people on this site that think Google and Apple software is great has never had a real IT job. I could be wrong, no company I have worked for wanted anything on theirs systems other then what has to be there. I tend to agree with them as it makes IT a lot easier if your not chasing down what user installed software is conflicting with the actual solutions intended for work.
          ShadowGIATL
          • Re: Removing Software

            [i]I could be wrong, no company I have worked for wanted anything on theirs systems other then what has to be there. I tend to agree with them as it makes IT a lot easier if your not chasing down what user installed software is conflicting with the actual solutions intended for work.[/i]

            You're not "wrong", per se, but you're thinking like an IT guy, rather than a user. There [i]are[/i] legitimate reasons users install extra software on their machines.

            1) If you want to get software installed on your PC by the IT dept., take a number and wait in line. Got a project that you need to do by the end of the week, you say? T.S.!

            2) You've got a piece of software that updates freequently? See #1.

            3) Don't even get me [i]started[/i] on how long it takes IT to write SMS packages.

            4) You can have my Google Desktop when you pry it off of my cold, dead, hard drive. This is one piece of software that works [i]much[/i] better than any search software Microsoft has ever designed (including the much-improved software in Vista).

            Obviously, users need to be corralled so that they don't install things like Yahoo or AOL instant message clients. But if you shackle your users too much, productivity goes down the crapper.
            bhartman33@...