Given the fact that it was widely expected, the launch of the new Google Finance product has unleashed an unbelievable amount of chatter. Yahoo! Finance has been the heavyweight in this area, but in our opinion has been coasting for too long. While the Google product is of yet a work in progress, it will hopefully prod its competitors to introduce greater technological sophistication.

Here is a sampling of the many items posted on the launch.

From the major media:

Kevin J. Delaney in the Wall Street Journal,

Google Finance follows the traditional recipe for such offerings, providing a mix of stock quotes and charts, company news and corporate data. It is too early to know whether Google Finance will steal users from existing offerings, but the Mountain View, Calif., Internet company’s broad consumer reach and recent success with new services such as Google Maps suggest its arrival could cause established providers of online financial news and data to react.

John Markoff in the New York Times,

Google said the initiative grew out of a survey it conducted 15 months ago, asking its users what kinds of new services they would find helpful. The response was dominated by two themes: maps and finance.

Financial analysts said the service played to obvious Google strengths.

“Financial information is a category of information that can lend itself fairly well to the task of organizing and presenting, what Google is really good at,” said Safa Rashtchy, a financial analyst at Piper Jaffray, an investment firm.

We were going to summarize the many items out there on the Google launch, but we were thankfully beaten to the punch.

The Internet Stock Blog has ably collected a number of reviews from bloggers. The comments are decidedly mixed with most bloggers noting the incomplete nature of this ‘beta’ product. Bill Bishop provides some interesting insight into the business aspects of running a financial portal. Also at the Internet Stock Blog is an index of six short articles on the financial and technological environment Google is going to have to compete.

We here at Abnormal Returns already received a hit from the Google Finance product. While the consensus is not particularly favorable at this time, that is beside the point. The Google Finance product will improve over time and will hopefully raise the bar for its competition. The potentially more interesting question is whether this represents a change in direction for Google’s corporate strategy.