The Google Chrome Web browser appeared to have reached nearly 2 million downloads in the United States during the first week the software was available, a Web tracking firm reported Wednesday.
Nearly 1.4 % of all U.S. Web users who went online between Sept. 1 and Sept. 7 visited the "Thank You" page associated with Google Chrome, indicating that a download had taken place, Nielsen Online reported. In addition a large number of those people immediately took to the blogosphere to discuss the new offering.
Males dominated, comprising 73% of the visitors to the Chrome page. More than half were between the ages of 35 and 49, Nielsen said. Most of the female visitors were between the ages of 18 to 34.
Online buzz about Chrome peaked the day after its Sept. 2 release, accounting for nearly 1% of consumer discussion, the firm said. That percentage was "respectable" -- slightly more than half of what the highly anticipated iPhone 3G generated. Apple launched the smartphone earlier in the summer.
"The interest in all things Google was apparent in the online discussion surrounding the somewhat unexpected Chrome launch," Jon Stewart, research director at Nielsen, said in a statement.
Many analysts believe that Google launched Chrome as a front end for the search engine's online applications, which include word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, e-mail, and more. These applications offer an alternative to the Office productivity suite, Microsoft's cash cow.
"It's built by a company whose primary focus is to take Microsoft out," Rob Enderle, principal at the Enderle Group, said of Chrome during a session at the InformationWeek 500 Conference this week. "It's designed to be a front end for their back-end applications and render Windows irrelevant."
Other popular browsers include Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which dominates with more than two-thirds market share, followed by Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari.