If you have followed the Windows 8 development up to this point you know that the operating system will ship with two different interfaces. First the regular desktop interface, and then the Metro user interface, which Microsoft calls the start page. With these interfaces come two versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10. First the regular version and successor of Internet Explorer 9, and then a “bare-bones” version optimized for Metro.
The Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 will be plugin-free, fullscreen, and without other features that Windows users have come to expect from a browser. While sharing the same core, the browser’s are fundamentally different from each other.
Mozilla recently made the announcement that they have started to work on a Windows 8 version of the Firefox web browser. A Wiki at the official Mozilla website highlights the development status and intention.
The feature goal here is a new Gecko based browser built for and integrated with the Metro environment.
Firefox on Metro, like all other Metro apps will be full screen, focused on touch interactions, and connected to the rest of the Metro environment through Windows 8 contracts.
Google today confirmed that the company is also working on a Google Chrome Metro version of the browser. The Metro version of Chrome is based on the desktop version of the browser, and not the mobile client Google released some time ago.
According to Mashable, Google plans to include enhanced touch support in the release to go along with Microsoft’s touch-centric philosophy. It is not clear at this point in time if Metro Chrome will have all the features of the desktop version, or if it will be limited just like Microsoft’s browser is.
It is likely that Google will implement a data synchronization feature to sync data between the Metro, desktop and mobile versions of the browser.
As far as major browser developers are concerned, only Opera and Apple have not yet announced a Metro version of their browsers. It is not clear if we will see Metro Opera or Metro Safari any time soon, or if the companies will pass and concentrate on a single desktop version instead.
What’s your take on the development? Let us know in the comments.