If you have been with Windows 8 since the day you could download the developer preview, you probably have been using the Metro version of Internet Explorer 10. If you’re like me, then you find it difficult to use and have switched to a different web browser that runs in the desktop user interface. I am currently typing this using Google Chrome v 17 in desktop mode and it is working a lot better for me than Internet Explorer in Metro.
What if you want to get more experience with Metro before Windows 8 is actually released? Well worry no more, Google has confirmed that it is working on a version of Google Chrome for Metro. A Google spokesperson says that the new version of the web browser will be based on the desktop version instead of the Android version.
Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8,” the representative said. “To that end we’re in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8 such as adding enhanced touch support.”
This means that Chrome will be available just in time for when Windows 8 is released along with the shower of Windows 8 tablets that is expected to coincide with the launch.
Chrome for Metro would probably look a lot like the desktop version except bigger and having more touch-optimized buttons. The touch interface would actually be beneficial to Chrome, since Chrome has its web apps right on the home screen with big touchable buttons. It also prompts sliding between pages, so I think that this will work out very nicely.
Mozilla is also at work developing a version of Firefox for Metro. Brian R. Bondy, a Mozilla engineer, revealed a little bit more about how web browsers in Metro are different. He said that browsers aren’t actually confined to the Metro user interface. This means that Metro browsers can be just as powerful as their desktop counterparts. Along multitasking, they can also download files in the background, and render HTML5 webpages.
This is because the web browser in metro is basically the same program as the one on the desktop. They just have different user interfaces. Still, according to Bondy, that requires a lot of coding and is a very big project.
There has been some questioning lately about whether Microsoft will pull an Apple and not allow any other Web Browsers besides Internet Explorer run in Metro. (Even Apple allows for other Web Browsers on iOS, just not other default browsers.) But according to some white papers released from Microsoft, no one will have to worry about that. Browsers will be allowed and they will have all the capabilities that are mentioned above.
There is a problem though, only one browser would be able to run, and that’s the default one.