The two user interfaces that Windows 8 ships with make it more time and development intensive for developers to provide a working version of their software for both interfaces. Microsoft for instance makes available two versions of their Internet Explorer 10 browser when the operating system launches. First the classic Internet Explorer for the desktop that ships with all the bells and whistles included, and then the Metro UI Internet Explorer that is more bare-bones. This particular version of Internet Explorer does away with plug-ins, starts in full screen and makes use of a minimalistic interface.
Third party browser developers like Mozilla, Google, Opera or Safari are getting into a predicament. They can continue providing their user base with a desktop version of the browser, but that would mean that their users would have to use Internet Explorer 10 in Metro.
The other option is to use development resources to build a special Metro version of the browser, to make it available in the Metro UI as well.
We already mentioned that Mozilla is currently developing a Metro version of Firefox for the Windows 8 operating system. The developers aim to have a proof-of-concept version ready with Firefox 14.
Windows 8 News is now reporting that Google is also working on a Metro UI version of the Chrome web browser. Google’s planning to bring the desktop version of the Chrome browser to Microsoft’s Metro user interface. We do not now the development status or a first release date for the version, nor how the new Metro version of Chrome will be distributed to the Windows 8 user base.
It is likely that the version will share – which means synchronize – information which other versions of the browser that are installed on the system. We already know that this is possible as Microsoft is doing the same with the Metro and desktop versions of Internet Explorer.
It is always good to have choice when it comes to applications. As it stands now, Windows 8 users will have options to use Firefox or Chrome instead of Internet Explorer in the operating system’s start page. No word yet whether we will see Metro versions of Opera or Safari as well.
Do you welcome additional browser options for the Metro interface? Lets discuss in the comments.