Google to give Chrome a Metro sheen

Never fear, Windows 8 Metro browsers that aren't Internet Explorer are near. Google says that Chrome will go Metro for the new operating system.

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Chrome will come to Windows 8 Metro when Microsoft's in-development operating system is released to the public, a Google representative has confirmed with CNET.

"Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8. To that end, we're in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8, such as adding enhanced touch support," wrote the representative in an e-mail to CNET.

As first reported by Mashable, this indicates so far that Google will be following Microsoft's lead by developing two interfaces for Windows 8: one for Metro, and one for the desktop view. Beyond that, Google would not confirm any other plans for Chrome in Metro.

However, Mozilla revealed last Friday many of the challenges in developing a third-party browser for Windows 8 that go beyond just two different interfaces. Problems include a "very large" amount of new code, according to Mozilla developer Brian Bondy, but also a limitation imposed by Microsoft that currently prevents third-party browsers from running in Metro mode unless they're chosen as the default browser.

Opera is also keeping a close eye on Windows 8, although the company wouldn't confirm whether development on a Metro version of Opera had begun. "Unfortunately, we can't comment on any specifics yet, other than we are currently looking into Windows 8. The new OS and the Metro UI offers an interesting new platform and we know users will want to run Opera on it," said Arnstein Teigene, the Opera desktop product manager.

At the time of writing, Apple has not commented on Windows 8 plans for Safari.

Updated 1:05 p.m. PT: Added a statement from Opera.

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