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Windows 8 allows third-party browser to replace Internet Explorer in the Metro environment — except on Windows RT. You can use Google Chrome in Metro today, and Firefox for Metro is on the way.
When Windows 8 is released, changing your Metro browser will be as simple as installing Firefox or Chrome and setting it as the default browser. Getting Firefox for Metro at this point would involve compiling it yourself.
Downloading Chrome for Metro
To set Google Chrome as your default browser in Metro, you’ll have to grab the “Dev channel for Windows” release of Chrome from Google’s Chrome Release Channels page.
Firefox Metro integration work is ongoing – I couldn’t get any of the current –elm branch builds to function in Metro at this point. If you really want to play with Firefox for Metro and help out, you can check out the Windows 8 Integration page on the Mozilla wiki for instructions on compiling it yourself – not for the faint of heart!
Activating a Browser in Metro
Only your default browser will be available in Metro. In other words, if you set Google Chrome as your default browser, you’ll lose access to the Metro version of Internet Explorer. If Internet Explorer remains your default browser, you won’t be able to use the Metro version of Google Chrome, even if it’s installed.
You’ll be prompted to set Chrome as your default browser after installing it. Click the Next button and select Google Chrome in the list.
You can change this setting later from the Default Programs window. Type Default Programs at the Start screen and press Enter to open it. From the Default Programs window, select the Set your default programs link.
Locate Google Chrome in the list and click the Set this program as default option. To re-enable Internet Explorer as your default Metro browser, select Internet Explorer in this window and set it as your default browser.
Using Your New Metro Browser
After setting a browser as your default, you’ll notice its icon on your Start screen has changed to a special Metro version. Internet Explorer’s Metro icon will change to a desktop icon, and will launch the desktop version of Internet Explorer when clicked. If you launch Google Chrome from the desktop, it will launch the desktop version instead of the Metro version.
Currently, the Metro version of Google Chrome uses the same interface as the desktop version, but with a full-screen interface. Google says they’ll be “smoothing out the UI on Metro and improving touch support” before the release of Windows 8. (Source) Still, it’s interesting how close Google is sticking to the desktop version’s interface – which also looks similar on Android tablets – in comparison to Microsoft’s drastic interface changes between the desktop and Metro-style versions of Internet Explorer.
Chrome for Metro is integrated with the charms, so you can mouse over the top or bottom right corners of your screen and use the standard charm options. For example, you can use the Settings charm to access Chrome’s settings or the Share charm to share links from Chrome with other apps, such as the Mail app.
Chrome also supports Metro’s snap feature, so you can use it side-by-side with another Metro app.
If you find a bug in the Metro version of Chrome for Windows 8, Google encourages you to file a bug report.
The preview of Google Chrome for Windows 8’s Metro has been released, and looks more of the same.
The Dev preview version of Chrome for Windows 8 is out, and we’re taking a look at it
Google has announced and talked about its Google Chrome browser coming to Windows 8, and it’s now available to use for those running the Windows 8 Release Preview. The browser looks very similar to any version of Chrome available for download, but bare in mind this is just a preview.
It’s strange the browser even exists in its current form, because programs are usually the subject of close scrutiny. Chrome works in the way users expect (not exactly the Windows 8 brief), supporting add-ons and sync. Google Chrome for Metro supports Flash across all websites, different to Internet Explorer 10 which supports select sites such as YouTube.
Metro gestures such as swiping backwards and forwards aren’t currently supported, though undoubtedly will be when the Metro UI goes live. Swiping up from the edge of the screen or from the top takes the browser into fullscreen mode, which isn’t a gesture supported in Metro. I’ll be surprised if Microsoft allows devs to invent different gestures, when browsers are being set as the default to work.
Chrome for Metro does use the snap views, which allows two apps to be on-screen simultaneously, at the cost of reducing Chrome’s size and therefore limiting browsing functionality. Charms such as Share are also supported, with the Charms bar appearing at the right-hand side for context sensitive functions.
It’s nice Google is supporting Windows 8, but at the same time it’s almost pointless that we’re effectively seeing the same version of Chrome currently available on Windows and OS X. Mozilla has taken a different approach, showing a unified design across the desktop and mobile devices with rounded tabs and simplified dropdown menus. Hopefully future versions of Chrome will take note, especially from Internet Explorer 10 which has a completely different experience to the desktop version.
What’s curious to me is that there’s full Flash support. Microsoft is only supporting specific websites such as YouTube to ensure performance doesn’t suffer, but Google seems to be maintaining it’s open source policy with full support. We’ll have to see how that plays out.
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When Google first revealed the Chrome OS launcher for Windows in February, it was a blatant attempt to blur the line between operating systems. It turns out, however, that Google had a far more brilliant idea up its sleeve: Chrome OS for Windows 8.
Yes, the full-fledged version of Chrome OS is apparently on its way to Windows 8’s modern UI.
Chrome’s non-stable ‘dev channel’ build currently includes the complete Chrome OS desktop when you open the app in Google’s “Windows 8 mode.” And when I say complete, I mean complete. In Windows 8 mode, Chrome includes the desktop-like interface we first saw in early 2012, an app launcher, and even a little clock in the lower right corner.
Before I get the hopes of Google fans too high, let’s be clear that we don’t know if this is just an experiment or a serious effort to bring Chrome OS to Windows 8. Given the massive install of Windows 8 compared to Google’s OS, using the modern UI to deliver Chrome OS is pure genius—and embarrassingly obvious in hindsight.
While Google has made inroads with Chrome OS, many people still resist Google’s ‘browser in a box’ since you can buy a full-fledged Windows laptop for about the same as a Chromebook. Giving Chrome OS away for free as a modern UI feature, however, may encourage more people to play around with the platform—and even find a genuinely productive use for the modern UI.
Climbing into the Trojan horse
If you’d like to give Chrome OS for Windows 8 a try, just download and install the dev channel build of Chrome. The installer will dump your current Chrome install without wiping out your bookmarks, login statuses, or Chrome extensions.
Once you’ve installed the dev build, you can’t launch Windows 8 mode from the menu icon in the top right corner as you do in the stable version of Chrome. Instead, click on the Chrome tile from the Windows 8 Start screen. Don’t forget to make Chrome the default Windows 8 browser or the operating system won’t let you launch the modern UI app.
The Chrome OS App Launcher inside Windows 8. (Click to enlarge.)
Anyone who has played around with Chrome OS will be immediately familiar with the interface. In the bottom left you see the app launcher on the Chrome OS shelf, next to movable launcher icons for popular services like Gmail, Google Search, Drive, and YouTube.
You can even drag your own Chrome apps from the launcher onto the shelf and rearrange them as you see fit. In my tests, the non-Google Chrome app icons didn’t fit on the shelf as neatly as the company’s did. That is a minor visual problem, however, that can be fixed by the time Chrome OS for Windows 8 hits the stable channel—assuming that’s the plan.
While the dev channel build works well enough in Windows 8 mode, this version of Chrome OS does have a few quirks. Clicking on the clock on the right, for example, shows you the basic Chrome OS menu with the date, help, and power buttons. This functionality doesn’t currently work in Windows 8, however. Clicking on the power button, for example, doesn’t shut down Chrome or kick you back to the Windows 8 desktop.
Another strange thing with this build is that it allows you to run the modern UI version and the traditional desktop version simultaneously. That’s helpful if you have multiple monitors and reasons to view some sites on the desktop and some in the Metro version, but it seems likely this is just a bug clothed as a feature.
You can run both versions of Chrome at once with the current dev build. (Click to enlarge.)
In my tests, Chrome would sometimes open new tabs on the desktop instead of the modern UI version. This usually happened when I tried opening a new app from the shelf; while clicking on links inside a specific Chrome window, they opened in a new tab just fine.
Despite a few very mild rough edges, my brief experience with Chrome OS for Windows 8 was pretty good. If Google continues development and it rolls out this feature to the stable version of Chrome, I could definitely see myself spending more time inside the modern UI version of Chrome.
Firing up Chrome from my laptop’s Start Screen is much easier than firing up the desktop for those times I need to quickly take a look at Facebook, send an email, or catch up on the news. On a Windows 8 tablet, Chrome OS could make even more sense and would take advantage of Windows’ touch capabilities as opposed to the awkward touch integration we saw in the Chromebook Pixel.
Even better: Assuming Google’s Chrome OS invasion continues, it looks like Windows 8 devices will soon have all the benefits of running two “operating systems” on one device—only without the pain of dual booting or virtualization.
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.
A Metro-optimized version of Chrome for Windows 8 will soon be released.
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Metro for Chrome
Fans of Chrome or its open source cousin Chromium will soon be able to get a version optimized for the Release Preview of Windows 8, as the team says it’s almost ready to unveil what it promised us in March. Chrome in Metro is designed to work in both the desktop and Metro environments of Windows 8 on any x86 machine. Pretty much all PCs should be fine, but anybody on ARM will be out of luck, since some features of Windows RT are restricted to Internet Explorer. The shot above looks much like ordinary Chrome, but the software will apparently integrate with Windows 8 features like charms and snap view. It’s likely to be a bit rough when it launches, so the Chromium team urges users to file bug reports.
If you’re interested in trying out the software, you should be able to see it soon on the Chromium dev channels page. From there, you’ll be able to install it and set it as a default browser. Metro on desktop is still in its early days, so it’s good to see major pieces like this fall into place.
Update: Although this version of Chrome won’t work on Windows RT, it’s theoretically possible for one to be developed for ARM-based machines. However, it wouldn’t be able to run on Classic mode, and companies like Mozilla have complained about APIs being limited to everyone but Internet Explorer.
Windows 8 omogoča brskalniku drugih proizvajalcev, da zamenja Internet Explorer v okolju Metro – razen v operacijskem sistemu Windows RT. Danes lahko uporabljate Google Chrome v Metroju in Firefox za Metro je na poti.
Ko se Windows 8 sprosti, bo spreminjanje brskalnika Metro preprosto kot namestitev Firefoxa ali Chroma in nastavitev kot privzeti brskalnik. Pridobivanje Firefoxa za Metro na tej točki bi vključevalo samo prevajanje.
Prenos Chrome za metro
Če želite Google Chrome nastaviti kot privzeti brskalnik v Metroju, boste morali sprostiti izdajo »Dev kanal za Windows« Chrome na Googlovi strani za objavo v Chromu.
V teku je integracijsko delo Firefox Metro – na tej točki ne morem pridobiti nobene od trenutnih -elm podružnic za delovanje v Metro. Če se resnično želite igrati z Firefoxom za Metro in pomagati, si lahko ogledate stran Windows 8 Integration na Mozilla wiki za navodila, kako jo sami sestaviti – ne za slabovidne!
Aktiviranje brskalnika v Metro
V Metro bo na voljo samo vaš privzeti brskalnik. Z drugimi besedami, če Google Chrome nastavite kot privzeti brskalnik, boste izgubili dostop do različice metroja Internet Explorerja. Če je Internet Explorer še vedno vaš privzeti brskalnik, ne boste mogli uporabljati različice brskalnika Google Chrome, tudi če je nameščena.
Po namestitvi boste morali nastaviti Chrome kot privzeti brskalnik. Kliknite gumb Naprej in na seznamu izberite Google Chrome.
To nastavitev lahko pozneje spremenite v oknu Privzeti programi. Na začetnem zaslonu vnesite Privzeti programi in pritisnite Enter, da ga odprete. V oknu Privzeti programi izberite povezavo Nastavi privzete programe.
Na seznamu poiščite Google Chrome in kliknite privzeto možnost Nastavi ta program. Če želite vnovično omogočiti brskalnik Internet Explorer kot privzeti brskalnik, izberite Internet Explorer v tem oknu in ga nastavite kot privzeti brskalnik.
Uporaba novega brskalnika Metro
Ko nastavite brskalnik kot privzeto, boste opazili, da se je njegova ikona na začetnem zaslonu spremenila v posebno različico metroja. Ikona metroja Internet Explorerja se bo spremenila v ikono na namizju in bo ob kliku zagnala namizno različico Internet Explorerja. Če zaženete Google Chrome z namizja, bo namesto različice metroja zagnana namizna različica.
Trenutno različica brskalnika Google Chrome uporablja isti vmesnik kot namizna različica, vendar z vmesnikom na celotnem zaslonu. Google pravi, da bodo pred izidom operacijskega sistema Windows 8 »izravnali uporabniški vmesnik na metroju in izboljšali podporo za dotik«. (Source) Kljub temu je zanimivo, kako blizu je Google vmesnik za namizno različico – ki je podoben tudi na tablicah Android – v primerjavi z Microsoftovimi drastičnimi spremembami vmesnika med namiznimi različicami in različicami Internet Explorerja v slogu Metro.
Chrome za podzemno železnico je združen s čarovniki, tako da lahko z miško kliknete na zgornji ali spodnji desni vogal zaslona in uporabite standardne možnosti čaranja. Z možnostjo Nastavitve lahko na primer uporabite Chromove nastavitve ali čar Share, če želite deliti povezave iz Chroma z drugimi aplikacijami, na primer aplikacijo Pošta.
Chrome podpira tudi funkcijo »metro«, tako da jo lahko uporabljate vzporedno z drugo aplikacijo Metro.
Če najdete napako v različici Metro za Chrome za Windows 8, Google spodbuja, da vložite poročilo o napaki.
– Last updated on October 5, 2012 by VG
Recently we told you about new Mozilla Firefox Nightly build which comes with a special Metro version designed for Microsoft’s latest OS Windows 8. This new Metro version works only at Start Screen and launches a chromeless browser window similar to Metro IE.
But many AskVG readers have reported that they can’t use the Metro version of Firefox in Windows 8. Whenever they click on Nightly tile on Start Screen, it launches the Desktop version of Firefox instead of new Metro version.
Although we didn’t face any problem in testing Firefox Metro version but we tried to investigate and found that its a similar problem as we posted a few months back related to Metro IE. If Internet Explorer is not set as default browser, its tile at Start Screen disappears or stops working. Check out this link for more info.
Same principle applies to Firefox. If Firefox is not set as default browser app to open http links, you’ll not be able to access its Metro version. So you’ll need to set Firefox as default web browser for Desktop as well as Start Screen using this tutorial.
One can easily find whether the Nightly tile present at Start Screen will open Metro version or Desktop version by only looking at its icon. If Nightly is set to open Metro version, its icon will look like following:
In the above screenshot Nightly is set as default browser app.
And if Nightly is not set as default browser and it’ll open Desktop version, then its icon will look like following:
If you can’t enjoy Firefox Metro version in Windows 8, simply follow these simple steps to set it as default browser app and your problem will be fixed:
1. If you are on Start Screen, type default and Windows will show “Default Programs” in search results page. Click on it to open Default Programs window.
Alternatively, you can open it from Control Panel.
2. Now click on “Set your default programs” link given at the top.
3. Now select Nightly from the given list and click on “Set this program as default” option.
4. As soon as you click on the option, Windows will show a notification asking you to select the default browser for opening http links. Actually its a notification for default browser app for Start Screen.
Select Nightly from the given list of browser.
5. That’s it. Now you can enjoy Firefox Metro version without any problem.
PS: If you don’t get the Metro app notification mentioned in step 4, open Internet Explorer and set it as default browser. Now Windows will show the app notification and you can select Nightly as default browser app.
About the author: Vishal Gupta (also known as VG) has been awarded with Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award. He holds Masters degree in Computer Applications (MCA). He has written several tech articles for popular newspapers and magazines and has also appeared in tech shows on various TV channels.
NOTE: Older comments have been removed to reduce database overhead.
Use metro “Chrome” version. It at least have flash support and is simpler to use.
The reason why you must set the default browser as Firefox in order for the Metro version to function is because Microsoft is only letting one type of browser work in the Metro Start Screen, aiming to promote IE10 (even though only stupid people use it).
Perhaps that could be added to the article.
Is it possible to do this without setting Nightly as your default browser?
Can you read other comments before posting? macpro622776 already answered to your question.
Excellent guide. I was facing the same problem and Google brought me here. Your solution worked for me. Thanks.
Right now Firefox Metro only works with the 32 bit version. So download the 32bit Nightly version instead of 64bit and you should see it.
Put | “C:\Program Files\Nightly\firefox.exe” -metrodesktop
in NIghtly’s Shortcut in Properties > Target
Hey guys, does any of you know how to change the settings on Nightly? like e.g. to change the “downloads” folder. Right now is sending all my downloads into a folder that’s very difficult to access.
Nightly ‘Touch’ version works fine except it won’t load bbc.co.uk/news after it has been running for about an hour. Resetting Nightly resolves this issue to begin with but the problem soon returns. Closing & restarting Nightly or even rebooting doesn’t resolve the issue, only ‘resetting’ but get in the same loop after a while.
Most strange as other BBC pages load ok in ‘Touch’ version, e.g. bbc.co.uk
Anyone got any ideas how to resolve?
it doesnt work its still opening in desktop
Please Note: mozilla says under 1000 people we’re using it so they removed it. ( I highly doubt this though)
The latest version of Windows – Windows 8 Release Preview – is now available to download. Here’s what happens when you download and install the upgrade on your Windows 7 system.
The latest version of Windows – Windows 8 Release Preview – is now available to download. Here’s what happens when you download and install the upgrade on your Windows 7 system.
After clicking the Download Windows 8 Release Preview button, you’ll get a small program called the Windows 8 Release Preview Upgrade Assistant.
Download the file and run it. The Upgrade Assistant will check your current system for compatible apps and devices.
click on See Compatibility Details to see which apps or drivers you’ll need to reinstall after upgrading.
Then Windows, acquires a Product Key. Click Next.
Now the Upgrade Assistant will download Windows 8 Release Preview. You can continue to use your system while it’s downloading. If you need to Pause the download for any reason, it provides that ability.
After the download, your Windows 7 system will install and you’ll be upgraded to the Windows 8 Release Preview. The biggest difference between this version and the Consumer Preview version is the Metro Apps are more polished and developed.
Note: You can upgrade install Windows 7 to the Release Preview, however, if you’re already running Windows 8 Consumer Preview, you’ll need to do a clean install. The ISO version is currently available on TechNet and MSDN as well.
groovyPost will have a lot more about this latest release as we’re able to test it over the next few weeks.
With the Google Chrome recently adding a slick new Chrome OS-style workspace for Windows 8 users, many of you may be wondering how to access it.
To play with Google’s latest feature you need to set Chrome to open in Metro mode – aka ‘Windows 8 mode’ – by default. And why not: it offers a more familiar layout than Internet Explorer and looks good to boot.
In Windows 8 there are three possible browser experiences available. These are:
- Not set as default; opens as window on desktop
- Set as default; set to open as window on desktop
- Set as default; set to open in ‘Windows 8’ mode
In this post we’re going to look at enabling the latter of these.
How to Make Chrome Open in Metro Mode on Windows 8
Chrome cannot run in Windows 8 mode if it’s not the default browser. It’s an annoying limitation of Windows 8, but one that has to be adhered to.
So, first, you’ll need to make sure Chrome is the default.
- Open Chrome
- Open the Chrome Menu
- Select Settings
- Under the section marked “Default browser” press the Make Google Chrome my default browser button
With that taken care of we can set it to open up in Windows 8 mode:
- Open Chrome
- Open the Chrome menu
- Choose Relaunch Chrome in Windows 8 mode
That’s it! Chrome will now automatically open in Windows 8 mode by default. If you’re on the Beta channel this means you won’t see a full-screen Chrome window but the Chrome OS workspace:
To switch back to using Chrome in the more traditional ‘desktop’ mode simply follow the guide above but choose ‘ Relaunch Chrome on the desktop’ in the last step.
To reset Internet Explorer as your default browser (and have it open in Metro mode) open the Default programs application from the Windows 8 Start Page and adjust the browser setting accordingly.
Don’t See It?
Refer to this article for more information on why you may not see this option listed in Chrome.
There are two versions of Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8—a Metro app and a desktop app. Both share the same rendering engine and, unsurprisingly, perform identically on the same hardware. The only difference is UI, and the fact that Metro’s IE will not run plug-ins like Adobe Flash or Microsoft’s own Silverlight.
To reflect the distinction between the Metro version of IE and the desktop version, both Metro and the desktop retain separate default browser settings—you can run Firefox or Chrome as your default browser on the desktop and stick with IE in Metro, but you can also specify desktop browsers as the default Metro browser, meaning that links clicked in Metro apps like Mail will dump you to the desktop to open rather than stay in the Metro interface. Oddly, if you decide not to use IE as your default Metro browser, the IE completely disappears from Metro, and it takes a trip into the desktop Internet Settings control panel to re-enable it.
The Metro version of IE is a minimalist, touch-centric affair—the address bar is located at the bottom of the screen, and will disappear from view when it’s not being used. While typing in the address bar, IE will display a tiled list of your most frequently visited sites, as well as sites that you have “pinned” using the address bar’s pin button—these pinned sites will also show up on the Start screen. The address bar also has the requisite Back, Forward, and Refresh buttons, as well as a Tools button that will let you search the current page or open the page in the desktop version of IE (the desktop version contains no such button to open pages in Metro mode, at least for now).
The most consistent way to bring up the address bar on a PC is by using the Windows + Z keyboard shortcut that we discussed earlier, which will also bring up Metro IE’s tab interface, which displays big, clickable thumbnails of all your open tabs. You can also open new tabs, clean up your tabs (which closes all but the active tab), or open a new InPrivate browsing tab, which is clearly marked with a blue “InPrivate” icon.
The desktop version of IE looks more or less like IE9, though of course the UI hasn’t necessarily been finalized at this point. One of the only noticeable differences is the presence of a Metro-style scrollbar on pages that require one. Also new is an “Install new versions automatically” checkbox in the About Internet Explorer page, reinforcing Microsoft’s desire to get and keep Windows users on the most current IE version their operating system supports. There’s no evidence that Microsoft plans to move to the rapid-release cycle that Google and Mozilla have both adopted (such a decision would give enterprise IT managers apoplexy), but this sort of functionality would theoretically make it possible.
Now, let’s peek under the hood and get a few performance numbers. According to these basic tests, IE10 is faster than IE9 by a noticeable margin, but it can’t quite catch up to the current versions of Firefox or Chrome. These benchmarks were all run on the Dell Latitude E6410 that served as my main Windows 8 machine for this review.
Interestingly, all browsers performed the v8 benchmark slightly faster in Windows 8. The difference isn’t huge—just a few hundred points in both cases—but it is both consistent and measureable, and I thought it interesting that the OS update slightly improved the performance of these third-party programs. Kraken scores were consistent across Windows 7 and Windows 8.