However as OSNews points out, this has indeed ruffled some veteran's feathers. Nowadays, FTP, HTTPS and other protocols which are non-HTTP are still used - iTunes and Magnet links for example. But Google's stance on this could lead to a further roll-out of changes to other browsers and set a Microsoft-Mozilla "RSS icon" precedent.
I don't think it's that much of a deal, frankly. When have you ever heard on the television, radio, or in print media the use of 'http://'? You don't, because it's practically unnecessary, and seeing as Chrome is 'the search browser', the need for manually inputting URL's in my eyes has been questioned for years with Google being able to pretty much find exactly what you want, when you want it.
With the changes in Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.x and the highlighting of secure websites, and anti-phishing filters which enable the user to see the full address path, I can see why people may be hesitant to adopt the new non-http approach. However taking out the http:// bit will have little difference, secure sites will still be highlighted as such, and sub-domains will simply come before the domain name and replace the www.
Sure, it might look a bit odd at first and take some getting used to visually, but at least we won't be getting rid of the forward slashes altogether. What do you think?