Link for Google Chrome is no longer available in the Microsoft Store

No, Google's Chrome browser still isn't available as a UWP app in the Microsoft Store. Instead, a link for downloading Chrome was there... briefly. (It's gone now)

Many Windows users have been wondering if and when Google might make a version of its browser available in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10.

googlechromeinstallerwin10.jpg

The answer is likely not any time soon (and possibly never). But that didn't stop Google and Microsoft from adding a download link for Chrome to the Microsoft Store today, December 19.

This isn't the Chrome browser itself; it's just an installer for Chrome that opens to Google's Chrome download page.

The description in the Store says:

"This installer helps you get the official Google Chrome: A fast and safe browser from Google.

"[Note to Windows 10 S users] Windows 10 S is incompatible with apps like Google Chrome. To use Google Chrome, upgrade for free (for a limited time) to Windows 10 Pro."

I'd guess this move is aimed at non-technical users who somehow may not know they can just get Chrome directly from Google, and instead look at the Microsoft Store as a place to find their apps. (Shrug?) Or maybe the mass of bad Chrome clones in the Microsoft Store led Google to take drastic (and/or dastardly) measures?

The handful of reviews of the "app" make it clear that the first few users who found the app are none too happy that it's just a link and not the actual browser. But because Microsoft requires Store apps to use Microsoft's HTML/JavaScript engines, it's unlikely Google will deliver a version of Chrome that meets those requirements.

Update: And... the Google Chrome installer is no longer in the Microsoft Store. It's not clear who pulled it or why. (Thanks to Mehedi Hassan at Thurrott.com for the find.)

Update No. 2: Microsoft officials said the are the ones who pulled the Chrome launcher, not because it didn't use the Microsoft HTML/Javascript engine. According to a spokesperson, because "it was rejected because it was an app that in and of itself was just a link, that didn't provide a quality/valuable experience."

Update No. 3: One Google engineer seems to imply this all happened because of the large number of clone/rogue versions of Chrome in the Microsoft Store.

Chris Blume, a Chrome dev on the GPU team tweeted:

"I love Microsoft, but...

"Microsoft denies Chrome the tools it needs to protect users when installed from the Windows Store. (BTW, they grant those tools to Edge.)

"So we made a mini-app to help users get the full, safe version of Chrome. It was pulled."

(Thanks to Isaac Daly for the pointer to Blume's tweet.)

Back to my original blog post:

I asked Microsoft how the app got into the Store in the first place (assuming Microsoft had to approve it). No word back on that so far.

Microsoft hasn't yet detailed fully its plans to get Progressive Web Apps into the Windows Store, but support for this is expected within the coming months.

In the interim, Microsoft is at the mercy of companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple to deliver Universal Windows Platform (UWP) versions of their apps for Windows 10. Last week, Apple officials said iTunes wouldn't be available in the Windows Store before the end of calendar 2017, as previously announced.

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