Chrome Windows 8 Metro

Windows 7 users can now play with Chrome’s (oft ignored) Windows 8 Metro Mode.

Support for entering the experimental “Chrome OS Mode” features in the latest development builds of Chrome Canary. 

But unlike Windows 8, where the feature runs as a separate workspace in the Modern UI environment, Windows 7 users get a maximised (or fullscreen, if the Windows task bar is set to automatically hide) experience.

This difference aside from the look and feature set remain largely the same. You have the App Shelf along the bottom of the screen, the App Launcher on the far left, and a basic clock on the far right.

Applications opened in this mode won’t appear in the Windows task bar or Alt+Tab switcher. You’ll need to click in or refocus the Chrome window to manage them.

Trying it Out

If you’re running Canary (which can be installed alongside stable versions) you can find the feature by opening the Chrome menu and clicking on the “Relaunch Chrome in Chrome OS mode” entry.

To exit and return to the regular Chrome desktop experience just repeat the above, but click the“Relaunch Chrome in Desktop mode” entry.

Why would Google go to the trouble of enabling this feature for Windows 7 users? The bug for the feature enablement is hidden from public view, so the precise reasoning is unknown. My guess is that it’s partly a case of “because we can“.

Don’t have Chrome Canary? Grab it here. 

Development canary metro windows