Both Mozilla and Google are working to get a metro version of their browsers out the door for Windows 8. Like Internet Explorer in Windows 8, both Chrome and Firefox will be offered in both desktop and metro versions simultaneously. You can brief through an overview on Firefox’s development in this blog post, and Mozilla’s development plans and status can be found here. This means that when the browser is installed and is the default browser, users will be able to launch it in both the desktop and metro environment. In addition, Google confirmed to Mashable that along with the metro style Chrome, the desktop version itself will get enhanced touch support.
“Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8,” the rep said. “To that end we’re in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8 such as adding enhanced touch support.”
According to a Microsoft white paper, Windows 8 will offer a third type of Application model. The common two types are desktop apps and metro style apps. The third type of apps are designed for browsers and is called “Metro Style Enabled Desktop Browsers”. These browsers are desktop browsers that also have a metro style (Windows Runtime Environment) component. The metro style component is able to take advantage of many of the Win32 apps and is able to bypass some restrictions on the regular metro style apps. This will enable both metro style and the desktop browser to share the same rendering engine. However, it is important to note that only the default browser can launch in metro style mode. That is, if I have IE set up as my default browser, only IE can show both the desktop and metro modes, with other browsers only being able to launch in desktop mode. If, however, I have, say, chrome as my system default browser, only it can launch in both metro and desktop modes.