Google has confirmed that it plans to join Mozilla in developing a next-generation browser optimized for the Metro style of Windows 8. It’s an important validation of the Windows 8 platform from the developers of two of the most widely used Windows apps around. First it was Mozilla. Now Google has tipped its plans to produce a version of its flagship Chrome browser built specifically for the Windows 8 platform.
For Google, building a Metro style browser is a logical step that ensures it remains competitive as Windows evolves. Many of its signature services—Gmail and Google Docs in particular—are optimized for use with the Chrome engine. It’s hard to imagine that it would leave those users on their own when Windows 8 ships later this year.
For Microsoft, the decisions by Mozilla and Google provide an important validation of the Metro platform and Windows 8. On one level, the entry of two fierce competitors weakens Internet Explorer. But the fact that all three next-generation browsers will be available on the Windows 8 platform sends a signal to third-party developers and increases the likelihood that next-generation web-based apps will get an early foothold.