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Google brings new Chrome with Windows 8 support to dev channel as promised

As promised, Google this week released a new version of Chrome for its dev channel that adds support for Windows 8 Metro mode.

The Monday release included "improved support for on-screen keyboard on Windows 8 in Metro mode," Google said in the release notes. It also "resolved several Windows 8 crashes and performance regressions."

To try it, you'll have to install the Release Preview of Windows 8 and then select Chrome as your default browser.

Google first announced plans for a Metro-style Chrome browser in March, and announced last week that it was coming to the dev channel shortly.

The "initial releases of Chrome in Metro mode will include integration with the basic Windows 8 system functionality, such as charms and snap view," Google said last week. But in the lead-up to the expected late-2012 release of Windows 8, Google will be "smoothing out the UI on Metro and improving touch support, so please feel free to file bugs."

Given that the Chrome dev channel and the Windows 8 Release Preview are pre-release versions of the software, these releases are intended for the tech-savvy rather than the average consumer.

On that front, Google also announced new developer features for the Chrome Web Store, including the addition of six new countries: Turkey, Ukraine, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates. The search giant also created a new section for apps that work offline, and promised better information in the developer dashboard.