Windows 8 gets Chrome OS features in Google browser update


Google has overhauled its web browser software so Windows 8 users can take advantage of features found in the search giant's Chrome OS.

Chrome 32, the latest version of its web browser treats Windows 8 users to a slightly reworked version of the software that takes some design cues from the Chrome OS.

When launched as a Windows 8 app, Chrome morphs the Metro interface to resemble Chrome OS. For example, there is even the same roll call of web app icons in the bottom left hand side of the screen.

That's not the only notable new feature. Chrome 32 also alerts users that have lots of browser windows open at once, to tabs that are playing music, to make them easier to pin point and switch off.

Furthermore, the software has also received a couple of internet safety tweaks, including measures to flag malicious downloads to users, and a beta preview of its Supervised Users feature that allows restrictions on the type of content certain users can see.

The offering was first released to developers in October, but has now been made available to Windows, Linux and Mac users.

And it's not just desktop users that will feel the benefit. Google has also announced some improvements to the iOS and Android versions of Chrome, too.

The first of these is designed to reduce the amount of data mobile users go through when browsing the web. This feature, Google claims, can cut data usage by up to 50 per cent.

Google Translate will also be made available to iOS Chrome users in the coming days, the company has announced, but is already accessible to Android users.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.