Chrome for Windows 8 Takes on Chrome OS-like Look and Features

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 07, 2013

Google has delivered an alpha version alpha version of Chrome for Windows 8 that is notable for how much it behaves like Chrome OS, Google's cloud-centric operating system. People have already been using Chrome on Windows 8, of course, but the new alpha version is optimized for Windows 8's Metro interface. As noted on ExtremeTech, "If you join the Chrome developer channel (alpha), and then launch Chrome from Windows 8′s Metro interface, you get an entirely new experience that looks just like Chrome OS running on a Chromebook."

We've actually been tracking this trend for some time: Google Chrome is behaving ever more like an operating system

Google has unveiled its Chrome Apps initiative that allows users to launch apps within the browser, causing the browser to take on more of a platform, OS-like role. Users of the Chrome browser can easily find and run many "packaged apps" that aren't available for competitive browsers, and a new Bluetooth API and other platform-like features have been slipping into Chrome.

The Verge has a good report on the new alpha version of Chrome for Windows 8, noting the following:

"The new updates are very different from the existing stable channel version of Chrome in Windows 8 that simply presents a full-screen browser. In the latest dev channel release the UI and functionality is identical to Chrome OS. There's a shelf with Chrome, Gmail, Google, Docs, and YouTube icons that can be arranged at the bottom, left, or right of the screen. Like Chrome OS, you can create multiple browser windows and arrange them using a snap to the left or right of the display or full-screen modes. An app launcher is also available in the lower left-hand corner."

If you need more evidence of how Google is thinking about Chrome as being more like an operating system, consider the fact that through Google's QuickOffice acquisition, users can now open and edit Microsoft Office documents from within the browser.  This functionality was already found on Chromebook portable computers running Google's Chrome OS, but it is now built into the Chrome browser--another example of how lines between the two products are blurring. 

If you want to take a peek at how much the browser is starting to work like the OS, watch the video found here