Google's vice president, Sundar Pichai, noted to The Times that after Chrome exits beta in January 2009, Google will begin an aggressive push to boost the browser's marketshare. More interestingly, he said that Google is exploring new ways to make Chrome more ubiquitous, and that they'll "probably do distribution deals" with OEMs, or original equipment manufacturers. This might mean that Internet Explorer finally has some competition out of the gate.
Since IE is bundled with all copies of Windows (at least here in the States), Microsoft has cornered the market on apathetic users. IE does, technically, work, and its position as the default browser is pretty much the only reason for its success these days. But if Google works with OEMs to get Chrome to supplant IE, then there's a whole different ballgame.
Google has the money and the clout to challenge IE, and I'd love to see Microsoft forced to make drastic improvements to their browser to keep up with Chrome. Only time will tell, but look for Chrome to become much more visible in the coming year. [Ars Technica]