Google unveiled its Chrome Apps initiative recently to launch apps that exist outside of the browser and extend its reach into more of a platform, but it looks like the company has a whole lot more planned.
Over the past few weeks, Google has been updating its developer version of the Chrome browser to run what’s essentially Chrome OS within Windows 8’s “Metro” mode.
Chrome traditionally runs on the desktop in Windows 8, but you can set it to launch within the Windows 8 Start Screen into a special “Metro-style” mode. The new updates are very different from the existing stable channel version of Chrome in Windows 8 that simply presents a fullscreen 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 fullscreen modes. An app launcher is also available in the lower left-hand corner.
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