Last week, a Google employee launched the WhatBrowser.org Web site to inform users about what a browser is, the different types of Web browsers available to them is, along with tips on how to manage them.
Today, Google dispensed with the agnostic approach and championed its own Web browser with this guide on how to use Chrome.
I actually created this Chrome tips slideshow not long ago, but this guide is official and has four sections. First up is a tour of the browser, followed by a lesson in browser settings, and an offer to take Chrome for a spin.
The final leg of the tour is an “advanced” section, with tips such as hitting tab to search specific sites and how to create an application shortcut.
Why has Google done this, more than a year after launching the browser? It’s a little like shipping a model car without instructions. A couple reasons leap to mind.
First, during press briefing in New York last week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt got upset when a reporter noted that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Chrome’s market share was a negligible “rounding error.”
Schmidt said he Google was going to do a better job getting the message out that Chrome has more adoption than people realize. Chrome currently logs only 3.2 percent of the browser market, according to Net Applications.
That’s not bad for a browser that’s 13.5 months old, but a rounding error with that kind of share certainly won’t matter much.
Offering a guide on how to use Chrome could help curious users get more comfortable with the application, thereby boosting its adoption. Just as millions of users flocked to Bing in the early months of its inception, millions of users flew to Chrome. Google needs these users to stay if Chrome is going to flourish.
Another reason Google created a full-fledged tour is to help sow the Chrome browser seed for its Chrome Operating System, slated to appear in netbooks in 2010, which is right around the corner.
Chrome OS code is already floating around in the wild and Google recognizes how important it is for more users to get comfortable with the Chrome browser, which of course will be the application launching platform for Chrome OS.