Windows 8 recently entered into the Release Preview phase. That means that Microsoft is now getting down to the last few bugs and features that need to be added to Windows 8 before it can ship as a finished product. It also means that software creators can now work on Windows 8 apps in earnest since the Release Preview is pretty much what consumers are going to get at launch.
Google announced a while back that Chrome would be moving to Windows 8 at some point in the future. The Release Preview presents the perfect opportunity to test out Chrome in the new Metro interface. The Windows 8 version of Chrome will run in both the desktop and Metro environments on x86.
Google would have released a version of Chrome for Windows RT, but they begrudgingly point out that Microsoft is being anti-competitive by not allowing browsers beyond Internet Explorer on Windows RT.
Regardless, we can all rest easy in the fact that the world’s most popular Web browser will soon be available on Windows 8. So what will the Metro version of Chrome offer to Windows 8 users? Google says that Chrome will initially support basic functionalities within Metro like charms and snap view. It’s a work in progress so there will be bugs, but they’re hoping to smooth all of that out in time for launch.
It should be noted that as of now, Chrome will be available in the next Dev Channel update. Those on the Release or Beta Channels will either have to brave the potentially buggy world of the Dev Channel or wait for the Release Channel update a few months from now.
Windows 8 will be launching sometime later this year and you can bet that Google will be there with Chrome on day one to protect everybody Internet Explorer. Of course, those on Windows RT will haven no choice. I highly doubt Microsoft will see much demand for Windows 8 tablets at launch anyway.
Google has built the WebRTC technology into a test version of Chrome to let the browser run voice and video chat applications within the browser interface.
WebRTC, which is also being supported by browser makers Mozilla and Opera, is being considered for standard status at the W3C and the IETF. Companies like Polycom, Vonage, Vehix.com, Semens and PCCW are developing browser-based applications using the technology, according to Enbom.
Google acquired WebRTC when it bought Global IP Solutions in 2010 and released it as open-source code in mid-2011. With WebRTC, developers will be able to create voice and video chat applications that execute inside the browser, without users needing to install plug-ins, according to the technology’s website.
Google wants Web browsers to be as fast and as capable of running applications as possible, which is why it came out with its own browser, Chrome, and made its development project, Chromium, open source.
There are four tiers of Chrome browser releases: the Canary Build, non-tested and not guaranteed to run; the Dev Channel, tested but likely to contain bugs; the Beta Channel, more tested and polished; and the Stable Channel, which is fully tested.
Juan Carlos Perez covers search, social media, online advertising, e-commerce, web application development, enterprise cloud collaboration suites and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.