Google is building its latest Chrome OS straight into Windows 8 and while the Chrome browser acts as a Windows 8 application, it’s using a special mode that Microsoft has enabled specifically for web browsers. The software maker allows browsers on Windows 8 to launch in its “Metro-style” environment providing they’re set as default. The applications are listed in the Windows Store and they’re still desktop apps, but the exception allows them to mimic Windows 8 apps and access the app contracts and snapping features of the OS. While Chrome will obviously run in this mode on Windows 8, Microsoft does not permit this type of behavior on Windows RT.
It’s not clear when the Chrome OS-like mode will make its way into the stable channel for Windows 8, but Google’s ecosystem on top of Microsoft’s own Windows platform is on the way and it could be the next major battle ground for control over desktop computing.