At the crack of 2014, Google announced a new feature in Chrome 32 that essentially turned Windows 8 computers into Chromebooks. Running on Windows 8 as a Metro-app, Chrome 32 would simply take over Windows and supply a very ChromeOS-like interface, similar to what Chromebook buyers experience.
The interface added its own "shell," which included the ability to run apps from a "Start" button from a very familiar system bar:
In its latest experiment, Google is developing the same experience for Windows 7 users. Only in beta form right now, Chrome Canary can be installed on Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP and it's being dubbed "Chrome OS Mode". It's enabled through a configuration setting in the top-level menu called "Relaunch Chrome in Chrome OS mode."
It's not for the faint of heart and intended for those users who like to be on the bleeding edge of Chrome browser features. As with any beta software, it's sure to come with bugs. There's already numerous reports of app crashes, but Google will work all of those out eventually. But, still, if you're the kind of person who waits until the last minute to pop the parachute, this might be worth checking out.
Here's what it looks like on Windows 7:
The thought, of course, is that if more people become accustomed to using Chrome and the ChromeOS experience, those people will begin choosing Google apps over other offerings – and, Google will sell more Chromebooks, which in turn means Google can sell more ads. This isn't too much different than the intent behind Microsoft delivering OneNote for Android for free, or using Office 365 for Android to sell its own services – well, except, of course, Microsoft's primary business success isn't determined through the use of customer's personal information to better tailor advertisements.
You can get it here: Download Chrome Canary