Some people seem to like to new icon, while many others (including myself) seem to prefer the old one. I personally think that the old favicon was instantly recognizable as the initial "G" from "Google", while the new one does not have that quality. For a brand name like Google, I believe it is very important to have a logo (or even something as small as a favicon) that can be recognized.
Google's reason for this change (as mentioned on their blog) is the following:
..we wanted to develop a set of icons that would scale better to some new platforms like the iPhone and other mobile devices..
They also state that the selection process was not easy, since they had to chose from among more than 300 different permutations. Some of the other alternatives they came up with are:
Seeing these designs, personally I would have chosen one of the more colorful designs with the capital "G" in it, since these two features (the capital "G" and the colors) are what comes to mind when you think Google. However, they also say that this is not the final design, but rather a first step to a more unified set of icons. So, hopefully, they will come up with something better. They also welcome suggestions, so if anyone can come up with a idea for a design, they can submit it here.
So, what do you think about the new favicon? Do you like it or not? and why?