This is the most aggressive promotion that I have ever seen on Google’s frontpage. Its for a Google product obviously (the Google desktop), but still, this represents a major departure for them.
Max I saw before was a small link here or there, this is a full 345x37pix graphic, and it only shows if the client window size is larger than about 775×470 pixels (try reducing the window size and you will see it disappear). Not only does it add clutter to Google’s precious frontpage, but it also increases the page load time which they have been fanatical about (that’s a rather large graphic, about 1KB in size, the total pagesize with all objects goes up from 9KB to 14KB). However, they seem to cookie that you saw this promo, because on subsequent visits you will not see it (not sure what is timeout on that cookie though).
Is this a sign of desperation? are they really this scared of IE7 and Vista ?