As we noted yesterday, version 3 of Google’s Chrome web browser is now available for PC users. But in an interview yesterday with Reuters, Google revealed a couple of interesting tidbits about the project.
The first is that while Chrome currently has just under 3 percent of the browser market currently, a year from now, they’re planning to have at least 5 percent. More importantly, 2 years from now, if Chrome doesn’t have at least 10 percent share, Google will be “exceptionally disappointed,” Chrome Engineering Director Linus Upson told Reuters. And Google’s own internal projections for the browser are even higher, apparently.
While I think I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like Chrome — a lot — this past year has proven that it may be hard for Google to hit such numbers. While plenty of people in the tech scene have posted their internal numbers (like Google’s own Matt Cutts) showing some pretty impressive Chrome share numbers from visitors coming to their sites, the general public is clearly not as quick to switch as the early-adopters in the tech scene. Just having a great browser may not be enough, Google will likely have to step up its advertising campaigns (mostly on the web) to get real gains.
But Google also has a big wildcard it has yet to play: Mac support. And in the same Reuters article, Google confirmed that it Chrome for Mac will be available before the end of this year.
So yes, sometime in the next 3 months, Google’s 3 percent share should see a fairly big bump from Mac users who will at least try it out. Right now, the majority of Mac users browse with Firefox or Apple’s own Safari. But Firefox is typically pretty slow, and Safari, while fast, has some quirks and doesn’t allow for the easy use of plug-ins. Chrome promises to bring a combination of both speed and plug-ins to the Mac. I’ve been using the developer builds of Chromium (the open source project behind Chrome) for months now, and it’s definitely getting really, really close to being ready for prime time.