Metro Google Chrome for Windows 8 Nearing Debut

By Jonathan Charles | Jun 08, 2012 12:00 PM EDT

Ever since Google announced it would be taking Microsoft up on its offer to develop a Metro version of its popular Chrome browser for Windows 8, the development process has remained quiet. Now, the company has previewed the browser and said it will be available soon to those using the Chrome Dev channel.

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The browser is designed to work in the Metro and desktop environments of x86 versions of Windows 8, but doesn't run on Windows RT / Windows ARM, which is Internet Explorer only.

For Windows 8 Release Preview users, the browser will be available in the next Chrome Dev channel re-release and requires the browser to be set as default. Microsoft requires a browser to be the default so users aren't thrown across apps, or into another version of Windows 8.

Google announced during March 2012 it was working on a Metro version of the browser and said it wanted to offer a "speedy, simple and secure Chrome experience across all platforms." Then, it also confirmed to Mashable the browser would be based on the desktop version.

The first version of Chrome for Metro will include "integration with the basic Windows 8 system functionality." That includes Charms and Snap View, which allow users to access context sensitive functions on the right-hand side and have two apps on-screen concurrently, respectively. The developers will be working on improving the UI and touch, and encourages users to report bugs.

Despite Google saying the browser won't run on Windows RT, The Verge said it's "theoretically possible" but the browser won't run in the desktop mode. That has caused Mozilla to complain about the APIs being exclusive to Internet Explorer.

Mozilla has said it's working on a Metro browser, while Opera hasn't confirmed a version is in development. The Metro version of IE 10 removes excess UI elements, as Microsoft wants to focus on the user experience. Hence, the Charms bar on the right-hand side and the removal of the address bar while it's not in use.

"We're committed to bringing the speed, simplicity, and security of Chrome into Windows 8," the blog post added.

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