Latest Chrome update brings Chrome OS to Windows 8’s Start Screen

by: Andrew GrushJanuary 15, 2014


Back in October, Google unveiled a refreshed version of the Chrome browser’s metro/modern mode, bringing an experience that was essentially like running Chrome OS within Windows 8.

At the time we noted that while it had a few minor differences, the new Chrome UI featured the same Windows-like taskbar, app launcher, and even the ability to run all the web apps and programs designed for Chrome OS. Back then it was unclear if or when the new Chrome OS-like look/feel would reach the stable build of Chrome, but that day has now arrived.

Windows users may give Chrome’s new UI a try, and could soon realize it is more than just a typical browser, with its own unique web and desktop apps.

Chrome 32 has landed bringing a few unique new features to the table, but it’s the redesigned Windows 8 ‘modern’ mode that is the most significant change. As you can see in the screenshot above, the new look is really as close to Chrome OS as you’re going to find without actually running the OS.

Google will tell you that the new update is about providing a better touch/mobile optimized experience over the older “modern” Chrome look, and we’ll admit that it does in fact work better than what was previously offered. Obviously though, the real purpose of this update is to work as a short of Trojan horse.

Chrome OS invades Windows 8 – its all about the web apps

Google is probably betting on the fact that some Windows users will give Chrome’s new UI a try and soon realize it is more than just a typical browser, with its own unique web and desktop apps. This in turn could lead to more folks downloading and using these apps, which is a win-win situation for Google. Heck, this move could even end up converting some disgruntled Windows users over to Chrome OS.

Honestly, if you’re looking to experience Chrome OS without messing with Chromium OS or buying a Chromebook, this is certainly a good way to do it. Will this new Chrome metro UI be enough to win over Windows users that have previously been disinterested in using Chrome’s web apps or Chrome OS? That’s a good question.

What do you think, could this be a perfect way for Google to bring more supporters to Chrome OS and Chrome’s web store? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

  • apianist16

    This = awesome!

  • Shark Bait

    I like this, now windows 8 doesnt suck as much. An OS inside an OS. Sneaky Sneaky google!

  • Slosh

    liking it so far, might use chrome in metro mode more often now since it looks so appealing. What they need to do though is add more official google desktop apps besides the Google Keep one, all the other ones are just browser links

  • nathsgames

    Would be OK if it stayed full screen when switching monitors!

  • Looper

    Implement separators for bookmarks damn it. Lots of users are complaining about this. How hard can it be?

  • Stas

    Have win 8.1 laptop and as browser use chrome. But instead of switch to win 8 browser mode I use standard one because in this case I have faster access to other (no related to chrome browser) features and programs. While win 8 mode is activated it requires additional movements to arrive at single task what is time consuming and uncomfortable.

  • LeChuck

    Still no standalone Hangout client for Windows.
    I hate to open Chrome just to chat with Hangout :(