Many industry insiders hypothesized that it was only a matter of time before Chrome, the Google built web browser for users who don’t like Firefox or Internet Explorer, would try to make a play at completely encapsulating users in the Google experience. As of today’s release of Chrome, they were right.
Starting with today’s update Chrome OS will now dump users who have the browser set as their default into what Google itself is calling a “Metro Interface.” Though Google calls it a Metro interface, it’s actually not what users and industry watchers would consider to be a Metro interface. Instead of being a Metro-styled Windows Store application that users can download through the Windows Store, Chrome on Windows 8 is now nothing short of a full replacement for the entire Windows experience.
Through this interface users can launch from app the Chrome Store as if they were native Chrome applications running from the machine itself. Google added offline support for Google Chrome apps with its last major release, leaving an integrated launcher and user interface as the only thing Chrome hadn’t taken over.
Downloads can actually use the Chrome Metro interface to open multiple windows too, also completely eliminating the need for users to exit the application.
In their defense, Chrome isn’t hijacking Windows machines with this release either. They typical Desktop app version of Chrome will now track what windows are making noise, this way users don’t have to search around looking for what tab to close and rid themselves of automatic video ads. Chrome now also tracks what windows are accessing the user’s webcam.
Chrome will now act as its own protector too. Google has updated and integrated Safe Browsing technologies to keep users from downloading viruses and other dangerous material. Parents can also use a new supervision screen to monitor their children’s browsing activities and more.
Today’s update is just the latest in a series of Google product updates designed to put Microsoft on the defensive. It’s Google’s hope that it’ll finally be able to make inroads into the desktop and laptop space by having Chrome OS act as a sort of Trojan horse into Windows and by offering devices running its own Chrome OS operating system.
The Chrome update should begin rolling out to users soon, it’s already available in a small download from Google’s Chrome site. Users will need to have Chrome set as their default web browser to get the new immersive Chrome interface.