Google Considers Preinstalling Chrome On New PCs

Many may have already for , but Google sees as just getting started. Now, the search giant is looking at preinstalling Chrome on new PCs as it fights to topple Internet Explorer as the Web surfing platform of choice.

The revelation comes from an interview this week with Google Vice President of Product Management Sundar Pichai. Chrome is almost ready to come out of beta, Pichai indicates -- possibly as early as January -- and "distribution deals" are likely to follow. Chrome's Mac and Linux versions are also both expected to debut during the first half of 2009, he says.

Timing Tactics

Following an immediate surrounding , the shine on Chrome started to . Before long, the Google browser experiment seemed like little more than another blip in the deep pool of . Google, though, says its quiet approach was not a sign of abandonment; rather, it was simply holding back its strongest push until after the browser's full release.

"We will throw our weight behind it," Pichai tells The Times. "We've been conservative because its still in beta, but once we get it out of beta we will work hard at getting the word out, promoting to users, and marketing will be a part of that."

Some anonymous "Google insiders" claiming Acer, Dell, HP, and Toshiba all want to take Chrome over IE for their products' default browsers. Google's spokespeople declined to confirm or deny any of the specifics but say the company is "continuing to explore ways to make Google Chrome accessible to even more users," which "could potentially include distribution agreements with OEMs," or original equipment manufacturers.