Google revealed they are busy at work to create a Metro version of their popular desktop browser Chrome for Windows 8. Microsoft’s new OS is a strange beast with two different environments – Windows 7-style desktop and the new Metro interface – which will run separate apps.
While the current browser will work just fine in desktop mode, it won’t be accessible in Metro, which is the preferred UI for tablets. Google is specifically looking to improve touch support for the Chrome on Metro.
Internet Explorer already has two versions and Mozilla are making a Metro Firefox too, so by the time Windows 8 launches, users will have plenty of choice when it comes to browsers.
You only get to pick one, though. In Metro only the default browser will be accessible, which will open all web links from Metro apps. This won’t affect most users but people who like to switch between different browsers should keep it in mind.
Microsoft is giving special permissions for Metro-style web browsers and giving them access to more APIs than non-browser apps get, so Metro Chrome and Firefox should be able to support plug-ins like Flash, even when the new Internet Explorer has renounced plug-ins of any kind.
Chrome and Metro are both pretty minimalist, so Chrome on Metro sounds like a good fit. There’s no info on a release date, but it shouldn’t be too long as Google are pretty quick to put out new versions of Chrome.