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With Microsoft publishing a developer preview version of Windows 8 back in 2011, it’s time to find out, which (if any) of the web browser companies actually did their homework and optimized the software for the latest OS. Web Browsers Internet Explorer 10 Firefox 16 Google Chrome 23 Opera 12.10 Benchmark Results Conclusion Overall, a [...]
When you make a browser the default system web browser in Windows 8 you may notice one of two things. If the developer of the browser has made available a special version of the browser for Windows 8′s startpage, then you will have access to two versions of the browser. The first is the regular desktop version of the browser, the second the start page version of the browser. Depending on where you are and which programs you are using to load websites, you may end up using either one of the browsers.
If you do not want that, for instance if you prefer to open websites always on the desktop as it provides you with better window control options and all that good stuff, you may be glad to hear that there is a way to force the browser to always open on the desktop even if it originally would open the web page on the start page version of Windows 8.
To do that, you need to do a bit of Registry tweaking. Save the following commands as chrome.reg on your computer and run the file afterwards. It will make the necessary changes so that Google Chrome always opens up on the desktop. Please note that you may need to display file extensions first to save the file as a .reg file and not a .reg.txt file. You will also see an UAC prompt which you need to accept to complete the process.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Whenever you open a website now in Windows 8 that will open in the default browser, it will open on the desktop of the operating system and not the start page. Now, if anyone could figure out how to do the same for the Firefox web browser, I’d be eternally grateful. (via My Digital Life and Ilev)
Before I start looking at recent advances that Google implemented into the Windows 8 version of its Chrome web browser, I’d like to take a moment to point out that I’m still not entirely sure how apps that run on the startpage but not installed from the Windows Store are called. Do I simply refer to them as apps? Or are they called Windows Store apps regardless of the fact that they have no connection with the built-in store?
Anyway, Google like Mozilla, is working on an app version of its Chrome browser that works directly as an application on Windows 8′s startpage. Before you can use the app version you need to make Chrome the default web browser on the system.To make Chrome the default browser load the settings using this url chrome://chrome/settings/ and locate the default browser option there to do just that. Once you have done that, you can use Chrome both on the startpage directly as a fullscreen application and on the classic desktop.
First thing that you may notice in the most recent dev version of the browser is an option to switch to the “other” version of the browser. You can switch from the desktop version of Chrome to the app version (Google calls it Windows 8 Mode) and vice versa taking all open tabs with you in the process.
Please note that you can only run one Chrome version at the time. If you have configured Chrome to launch in Windows 8 mode, the browser will launch in that mode even if you launch it from the desktop.
The two Chrome versions on Windows 8 previously were using different user profiles which Google in a recent version changed. Google Chrome on Windows 8 is now sharing the user profile, so that extensions, the browsing history and other data are available in both versions of the browser. This puts Google one step ahead of Mozilla who recently announced that add-ons synchronization between both browser versions is not included in the initial release.
After the recent announcement, guys at the Silicon Valley have released the very first build of the Google Chrome Metro web browser.
As you might guess, it was designed for the upcoming Windows 8 OS, which should shake up the tablet market.
Overall, Google Chrome looks bland, does not follow any Metro design guidelines and borrows its UI from the desktop version rather than the Firefox or IE Metro implementations.
We certainly hope that Google will make its interface more Metro like.
A few days ago I mentioned that Google was about to release the first Metro version of the Chrome browser. As you all know, Windows 8 will ship with two user interaces, the desktop interface that you are all familiar with, and the new Metro interface that is limited in terms of functionality when compared to the desktop. Software developers are now in a position where they need to create special Metro-versions of their applications to support that part of the operating system as well. And while they simply could plant an icon there that launches the desktop version, some believe that it is better to create special Metro versions instead.
Microsoft is for instance providing a copy of Internet Explorer 10 for Metro that is limited in functionality. It for instance does not support plugins, and seems to have been optimized for touch-based devices. Mozilla too has been working on a Metro version of Firefox for some time now and seems to have made great progress so far.
The two interfaces of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system put software developers in an awkward position. If they want their software to be available on the full system they would need to create two different versions of the application, one for the Metro interface, and one for the desktop (which already exists in the case of software that is already available for Windows). While it is certainly possible to simply add a link to the Metro interface that switches to the desktop version when executed, it would mean that the software would not really support the Metro user interface.
When it comes to web browsers, we do know that Microsoft has already implemented two versions of its Internet Explorer 10 browser that support both interfaces. Mozilla is also working on a Firefox Metro version for Windows 8, and is making good progress so far.
Google back in March announced that it too would create a Google Chrome version for Windows 8′s Metro interface but did not release a test version yet. The company yesterday announced that the initial release of Chrome in Metro mode will be made available soon in the next Chrome Dev Channel release.
Back in March, we began work on a Metro-style enabled desktop browser, a version of Chrome that will run in both the Metro and desktop environments of Windows 8 on x86. (Chrome won’t run in WinRT, i.e. Windows 8 on ARM processors, as Microsoft is not allowing browsers other than Internet Explorer on the platform.) If you’re running the Release Preview of Windows 8, you’ll be able to try Chrome in Metro mode in the next Chrome Dev channel release by setting it as your default browser.
The initial releases of Chrome in Metro mode will include integration with the basic Windows 8 system functionality, such as charms and snap view. Over the next few months, we’ll be smoothing out the UI on Metro and improving touch support, so please feel free to file bugs. We’re committed to bringing the speed, simplicity, and security of Chrome into Windows 8, and we look forward to working with you on it.
Opera looking into it.
Although it was previously known that Firefox will include a Metro like UI, the team behind Mozilla’s web browser only recently started the development. However, turns out, Google is also developing a Google Chrome Metro version, which will be available for the Windows 8 consumers.
In addition to Google’s announcement, the search giant has also confirmed that they will work on a touch optimized version of Google Chrome for the desktop.
What about other web browsers? Safari remains silent, however, ArsTehnica contacted Opera Software and received the following statement, “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.”
We are curious to find out, how exactly will Google Chrome and Firefox differentiate themselves from the IE10 Metro, UI wise.