Google is getting ready to release a version of Chrome that works in Metro mode in Windows 8 Release Preview.
On Thursday Carlos Pizano, Software Engineer and “Metro Gnome” at Google, said that Chrome for Windows 8 Release Preview will arrive soon.
According to Pizano’s blog entry, Chrome will run in both Metro and desktop environments of Windows 8 on x86. However Chrome will not be released for Windows RT — the version of Windows 8 running on ARM-based chips — because Microsoft is reportedly not allowing browsers other than Internet Explorer on the platform.
“The initial releases of Chrome in Metro mode will include integration with the basic Windows 8 system functionality, such as charms and snap view,” he said. “Over the next few months, we’ll be smoothing out the UI on Metro and improving touch support, so please feel free to file bugs. We’re committed to bringing the speed, simplicity, and security of Chrome into Windows 8, and we look forward to working with you on it.”
Consumers running Windows 8 Release Preview will be able to try the Chrome browser in Metro mode in the next Chrome Dev channel release by setting it as the default browser. Based on a screenshot provided by Pizano, the browser won’t look any different than it does on Windows 7 or other desktop operating systems, keeping with the standard Google design.
Microsoft is following Apple’s lead by denying 3rd-party browsers besides its own stock Internet Explorer on Windows RT tablets with ARM-based processors. The desktop version of Windows 8 won’t have the same restriction although users won’t be able to run more than one browser in Metro mode at any given time.
In addition to Google, Mozilla is also working on a Metro version of Firefox. The company recently published a blog stating that users of Windows RT also deserve a choice of browsers, and called on Microsoft to remain firm on its user choice principles.
“Windows on ARM -as currently designed- restricts user choice, reduces competition and chills innovation,” wrote Mozilla General Council Harvey Anderson. “By allowing only IE to perform the advanced functions of a modern Web browser, third-party browsers are effectively excluded from the platform. This matters for users of today’s tablets and tomorrow’s PCs.”
“Because Windows on ARM relies upon so many traditional Windows assets, including brand, code, footprint, and experience, the decision to exclude other browsers may also have antitrust implications,” Anderson added.
Sounds like a threat, doesn’t it?