The Chromium team is set to release its first a version of the Chrome browser for the Metro mode of Windows 8, the open-source project announced on Thursday.
The version will run in both the Metro and desktop environments that come with Windows 8, but it will only run on the traditional x86 flavour of the operating system. As has already been established to some consternation, third-party browsers are locked out of the ‘Windows RT’ version that is designed to run on ARM-based tablets.
The Chromium project is open source, but the code it produces forms the basis for Google’s Chrome browser.
“The initial releases of Chrome in Metro mode will include integration with the basic Windows 8 system functionality, such as charms and snap view,” Google software engineer Carlos Pizano said in a blog post. “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.”
Those developers wanting to access the early versions of Chrome in Metro mode will need to set it as their default browser in the Chrome Dev channel, which releases new test iterations of the browser once or twice a week.
Microsoft’s decision to ensure the only browser on Windows RT is Internet Explorer has drawn criticism from rival browser-makers such as Mozilla, and European antitrust regulators said last month that they were keeping an eye on the situation.
Microsoft has famously clashed with these regulators before over the issue of browser choice, having been forced in 2009 to stop bundling IE with Windows.
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