Today when I went to the Chrome Web Store to download the Google Keep extension, when I clicked to install the extension, I was first asked if I wanted to install the Chrome App Launcher. Sure, why not? I then confirmed that I wanted to install the Google Keep extension and I was all done.

And then some.

While the Chrome App Launcher isn't breaking news (it was reported back in February when it hit the Chrome Dev channel), it is a smart move by Google to integrate the Chrome way of life into computers that are not running Chrome OS. That is, it's taking a laptop like mine which is running Windows 8 and bringing it a step closer to making it feel more like a Chromebook. Interesting move.

I already have a Chromebook and I'm very comfortable with Chrome OS, however there are many people who know little or nothing about Chrome OS, and by bringing the App Launcher to those people, it brings them something they might find useful, while also familiarising them with Chrome OS. Why is that important? Because right now, the bulk of the computer-buying market knows little or nothing about Chrome OS and making the move to an 'unknown' OS they are not familiar with is a big barrier preventing Chromebooks from becoming mainstream. That is temporary.

As more people recognise the value of using a Chromebook (not just that it's cheap, but also the value of having content in the cloud, synced across all devices plus all the other benefits of Chrome OS) they will become less resistant, and the app launcher icon is just another step in making the transition smoother. The fact that it also makes it easier for me to access the web apps I have installed is a bonus, the real benefit is making the Chrome browser experience more like the Chrome OS experience for potential new Chromebook/Chrome OS users, which will help make transitioning from Chrome browser to Chrome OS a much smoother experience.

The end result: Chromebooks from multiple manufacturers replace computers running Windows from multiple manufacturers and Chrome OS becomes the dominant OS. It might take a few years, but just like it has with Android phones and now Android tablets, I think Google will have the dominant laptop/desktop OS before too long. Will you embrace it?