Google Chrome Lands on the Microsoft Store As a Download Link

Posted on December 19, 2017 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows, Windows 10 with 88 Comments

Update: The Google Chrome Installer has now been pulled from the Microsoft Store following all the backlash from users. It’s not clear whether Google or Microsoft removed the app from the store. That’s one less crapware on the Microsoft Store, so this is good news either way. Thanks to Aaron C. for the tip.

Original story follows below.

Google is bringing its Chrome browser to the Microsoft Store in Windows 10. Exciting, right?

No. The company today released the Google Chrome Installer on the Microsoft Store, which is a modern Windows 10 web wrapper app that loads the Google Chrome download page. From there, users follow the usual download link to download and install the browser using the default browser on their operating system. And that’s basically it.

Yes, really.

To be fair, Microsoft does not allow web browsing apps on its store unless they are using the EdgeHTML and JS engines provided by UWP, which is potentially the reason behind Google not bringing the actual Chrome browser to the Microsoft Store as it uses Chromium.

Still, Google has never cared much for the Microsoft/Store in the past, and the company’s newest app for Microsoft’s app store simply reiterates that. At the end of the day, the Google Chrome Installer is still very, very pointless — the only functionality of the so-called installer is to open the download link for Chrome on your default browser. It basically removes the need for you to open Internet Explorer (or Microsoft Edge) and manually go to the Chrome download page everytime you set up a new Windows 10 installation.

-5/5 stars.

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Comments (88)

88 responses to “Google Chrome Lands on the Microsoft Store As a Download Link”

  1. danmac

    I think this is a jab at the Windows 10S users who will think “Great, I can install Chrome.” And then be disappointed.

  2. Waethorn

    Chromium isn't the "engine" - Blink is.


    Chromium is the open source project from which Chrome is derived. Google takes Chromium (which officially only exists as source code), adds closed source plugins and codecs, namely MPEG-4 and Flash, and adds support for their own update server (which includes Google's security certificate chain), colourises the logo, and compiles it for each supported platform. Voila: Chrome.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Waethorn:

      And the one flaw in Chrome's Linux updater is that it expects /tmp to be mounted exec. OK, I haven't checked that recently, but it was the case last winter.

      • skane2600

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        On Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS, Chrome won't even install unless you perform some command-line fiddling.

        • Waethorn

          In reply to skane2600:

          It installed it on that version the other day just fine. Dunno what you're doing wrong. I just clicked the link and it worked as it should.

          • skane2600

            In reply to Waethorn:

            But did you install it on a just installed Ubuntu or one that you've been using for awhile? If the latter, the equivalent to the command-line "fiddling" I mentioned was probably performed at some earlier time. As many developers have learned the hard way (including me), install testing should be performed on a fresh install of the OS. That's what make virtual machines so useful - the ability to recover the initial state of an OS.


            Update: I can't find my notes right now, but I believe that Chrome may depend on libappindicator1/libindicator7 which apparently isn't installed by default on Ubuntu 16.04.

            • skane2600

              In reply to skane2600:

              I got down-voted. I guess somebody doesn't like the truth or doesn't want to learn. BTW, I never down-vote just because I don't like a post, usually I reserve down-votes for posts that are abusive. If I believe that a post is wrong, I state my reasons, otherwise I just stay quiet.

              • hrlngrv

                In reply to skane2600:

                Get used to it. Some people don't like you. Some don't like me. Some don't like others. Perhaps lots of overlap.

                If you don't like downvotes, don't comment.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  Thanks for the advice, but I could just as easily say if you can't vote responsibly, stay off the site. Neither advice is enforceable, so people will probably vote as they choose and I'll complain about it when I choose to. Get used to it.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to skane2600:

          Hmmm. Ubuntu 16.04 was the starting point for Linux Mint 17, and Chrome installed with no issues on Linux Mint 17.

          • skane2600

            In reply to hrlngrv:

            That doesn't sound like a particularly effective test.

            • hrlngrv

              In reply to skane2600:

              That doesn't sound like a particularly effective test.

              ?

              Under Linux using Debian packages and apt-get, upgrading Chrome with /tmp on a partition mounted noexec it fails whereas upgrading with /tmp on a partition mounted exec succeeds. Seems rather straightforward that this particular mount parameter matters for Chrome and that Chrome tries to execute (or checks executability) of files in /tmp.

              • skane2600

                In reply to hrlngrv:

                I was responding to this post:


                "Hmmm. Ubuntu 16.04 was the starting point for Linux Mint 17, and Chrome installed with no issues on Linux Mint 17."


                Not the one about upgrading Chrome. Sorry I didn't provide more context in my response.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  I was responding to this post: . . .

                  OK, but the similarities between Ubuntu 16.04 and Linux Mint 17 are so substantial that for Chrome to require command line tweaking under the former but not the latter implies system configuration diverging from defaults on the Ubuntu machine.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  I would never draw conclusions about one OS based on another even if they are very similar. Imagine if you were told by your boss to write a program that has to work on Ubuntu and you told them you tested it on Mint so you didn't have to test it on Ubuntu.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  . . . about one OS based on another . . .

                  Are Ubuntu and Linux Mint different OSes? Metaphorically, Windows and Linux are at least different genuses if not different families. OTOH, different Linux distributions are at most different species capable of interbreeding if not just different breeds within the same species.

                  Checking configuration issues is always essential. If my boss's machine used libfoo.2.99.so but my machine used libfoo.3.00.so and lacked the developer version of libfoo.2.99.so, I wouldn't be able to test with my boss's configuration even if both of our machines were based on the same Ubuntu version.

                  No different than with Windows when 3rd party DLLs are needed.

                  OTOH, all current debian-based distributions can use the Google debian repositories to install Chrome, Google Earth, and a few others with no problems. Google doesn't bother with different .deb files for Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Solus, etc.

                  I suspect you came across a GPG key being out of date. That happens. FWIW, certificates can also expire on Windows systems, though that seems to be rarer, or at least there are fewer mentions which appear in web searches. Anyway, if so, that's a configuration issue, not a discrepancy between distributions.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  I consider Ubuntu vs Mint to be a tangential issue I'm only discussing because you brought it up. I make no claims about installing Chrome on Mint because I haven't tried it and could only speculate since i have no data to base a conclusion on.


                  The fact is that Chrome failed to install on a just-installed Ubuntu distro. I did some research and found that other people had the same problem and presented a solution, I tried it and it worked. And no, the solution didn't involve GPG keys.


                  "You must have done something wrong" seems to be the go-to excuse for some Linux enthusiasts when people encounter a problem.



                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  You haven't mentioned what the command line fix was, which means others guess, and expired GPG keys have been a relatively frequent problem with Chrome.

                  You share a characteristic with the worst of help line users: unwillingness to provide details.

                  Perhaps you're referring to this. I don't use Ubuntu, so don't use it's Store-like software installer. I figure you wouldn't have had a problem if you'd used Synaptic or apt-get from the command line. FWLIW, I don't use Linux Mint's Store-like installer either. I prefer seeing all the details available in Synaptic.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  I don't recall for certain what I did although I already presented a guess you apparently didn't read, but I'm not Ubuntu software support for someone who doesn't have any interest in using it and denies that there's a problem.


                  BTW, just for the heck of it I installed Linux Mint 17 on a virtual machine, immediately downloaded Chrome and it installed perfectly. I then did the same with a fresh version of Ubuntu and it failed just as before. Very repeatable.


                  Feel free to test my results using fresh installs.



      • Waethorn

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        Chrome for Linux has no auto-updater like the Windows version. It will however integrate the binary repo with APT or RPM on Ubuntu or Red Hat-based distros automatically, which also includes support for software store apps like GNOME Software or Software Updater. It's worked that way for as long as I can remember.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to Waethorn:

          I was being too brief. I've installed Chrome from Google's own repository (http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/). However, part of the upgrade process used to (may still) unpack some executables (maybe just scripts) to /tmp. If /tmp were on a partition mounted noexec (safer that way), the Chrome upgrade failed.

  3. alpensturm

    We have had a Google-free household for some time now - this company is making money with our mouse clicks and personal data no more - we therefore don't need Chrome, and it will stay this way! No thanks!

    • Winner

      In reply to alpensturm:

      To be fair, Google makes money, but provides hugely valuable services to those who use them. Things like search, gmail, youtube, maps to name a few.


      Sort of like your TV shows are free (at least off antenna), but you have commercials to fund that.

      • alpensturm

        In reply to Winner:

        Of course, if Google services work (hugely) for you, go ahead, there is nothing wrong with that. We have found that Bing search (less spam) and maps, as well as Outlook mail work just as well. Commercial TV and radio - I have never consumed.


        Practices like tracking Android users' whereabouts even with location setting turned off and Sim card removed is unacceptable - but a lot of people don't seem to care...


        Happy holidays!

  4. Detective Polarphant

    I don't understand why Microsoft allow these sort of apps in the store - they are not apps, they are shortcuts - and ruin the intended store experience.


    I wonder what will happen next ,Google have successfully put Microsoft in an awkward position. If they disallow the app in the store it could be an anti-trust issue, and if they don't, it's a poor experience for users.


    I wonder how it works with Chromes OS now that it supports Android apps - can you install an alternative browser from the Android app store ?


    Thinking about installing an alternative browser on a browser OS is hurting my brain.

  5. NoFlames

    Google is trying to kill Windows 10S in the crib. If they can get users to "Upgrade to Pro" then they have succeeded in what they wanted to accomplish, one less Windows 10S user.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to NoFlames:

      Google is at worst pouring gas on a fire or pissing into an ocean. Choose your metaphor. Windows 10 S has a good chance of failing all on its own without any assistance from Google.

      Was the Chrome link in the MSFT Store just Google being an a-hole? Sure, but no different than MSFT's forays into a-hole behavior such as the Pawn Stars ads a few years ago with the message Chromebooks aren't PCs. From my perspective perfectly fair for Google to imply that Windows 10 S machines also aren't PCs as most Windows PC users would understand the term.

      • NoFlames

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        My point is not who is better/worse but just an opinion on why now. Did you notice they didn't add the app to the store before 10S? Whenever I navigate to a google site with edge it already pesters me I should install google chrome, so this was largely not necessary except to give people a reason to and upgrade to pro. 10S may fail on it's own, I'm just acknowledging google is likely motivated to help it along that path.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to NoFlames:

          Google sites pester anyone using an OS and a browser other than Chrome. Google gripes about Firefox and Opera under Linux.

          I don't see how MSFT suffers financially if nearly all Windows 10 S users upgrade to Pro other than it means fewer Windows Pc users walled into the MSFT Store garden. While that may be suboptimal for MSFT, I don't believe it's suboptimal for Windows PC users since they could still use anything in the Store they could with W10S while also being able to use anything not in the Store.

          Given what I do for work, I can't use Windows 10 S in its current state with the MSFT Store's current offerings. I don't use Windows for leisure computing, so outside work W10S and the MSFT Store are irrelevancies for me.

          • NoFlames

            In reply to hrlngrv:

            The way it hurts Microsoft, is it reduces the number of 10S users, and thus keeps developers on the sidelines not supporting the UWP apps. If Microsoft can get the number of 10S users to a large enough number it will be harder and harder for developers including google to ignore.

            • hrlngrv

              In reply to NoFlames:

              How much market remains for commercial (meaning paid up-front) software for consumers? Aside from games, tax prep, and foreign language instruction, how much consumer commercial software is there any longer? Granted MSFT can still get people to pay for Office, and Adobe can get some to pay for its offerings, both for home use. Any other ISVs/products?

              Why would the situation change dramatically with UWP and MSFT Store?

              Far more fundamentally, Windows 10 (all SKUs) are currently used on fewer than 1 in 3 PCs worldwide. Why would developers ignore that? Odds are Windows 10 won't be on 50% of PCs by the end of 2018, so for the next year the market for Win32 software (small as it may be) would be larger than the market for UWP/Store software.

              Even when Windows 10 is on more than half of all PCs, how substantial would W10S's share be? It's too early to know, but I figure it won't be on more than 1 in 10 Windows PCs before Windows 8.x reaches EOS in 2023.

              If MSFT wants ISVs to take UWP/Store seriously, perhaps it'd help if MSFT itself took UWP/Store seriously. Is there any good reason MSFT hasn't shown the potential of the Store by making its own (acquired) R Open a packaged Store app? Flipping this around, if MSFT's own developers are tepid/timid about UWP/Store, why in the world should any ISV take UWP/Store seriously? OTOH, if MSFT's own choices accurately imply the limitations of UWP/Store, why should any ISV ignore that?

              One and only one group of people are responsible for making UWP/MSFT Store a success: MSFT's managers and developers. Outsiders criticizing UWP/Store only have credibility because their criticisms are mostly accurate. Presumably MSFT could respond in a way which would make those criticisms inaccurate, but MSFT shows no urgency in doing so.

  6. NoFlames

    I did my part, I downloaded it, gave it a bad rating, and now it's gone. I was surprised Microsoft allowed this in the store in the first place.

  7. melinau

    Sadly the last people that get considered in the pathetically childish behaviour (by all parties) are the users.

    As far as these Corporate giants (or at least their Marketing Wonks) are concerned, we, the people, are simply statistics, the distribution of which affects their Performance Reviews & Bonuses. The fact that their tactics are irritating, and often ineffectual counter productive is disguised by continual growth in various markets.


    Microsoft has probably moved further towards genuine platform agnosticsm than any other major Tech company, and should stop playing these silly games. Leave that to Google & Apple as the former tries to promote its mediocre Chrome "platform", and the altter to secure its existing market share. Lest we forget it was precisely becuase you could run MSDos on non-proprietary hardware which made MS the giant it is today, not dictating choices as with IBM's failed OS2

  8. Marius Muntean

    :))) Nice move from Google. The only thing they did was to mock MS and their junkyard App Store :)))

  9. Bart

    I think this kick in the nuts should be the precursor for MS to throw Windows 10 on lockdown. No more wild west Win32 installing of apps. All apps have to go though the Store. No need to get fussy about rendering engines etc., just lock down Windows 10. The time is right. Do it Microsoft!!!!

    • RedSign

      In reply to Bart:

      How is it good forcing the own rendering engine to be used by other browsers? Having more than one rendering engine is key for the open web as we know it, imho.

      • Bart

        In reply to RedSign:

        No, what I mean is that Google and Apple force others to use their respective rendering engine. MS shouldn't do that.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to Bart:

          . . . Google and Apple force others to use their respective rendering engine . . .

          Only on phones and tablets which don't run desktop software.

          MSFT should absolutely impose the same type of restrictions on the thousands of Windows phones still in use.

          • Bart

            In reply to hrlngrv:

            True, they may be phones and tablets, but don't forget that those devices are peoples main computing devices. So not sure a distiction should be made anymore

            • hrlngrv

              In reply to Bart:

              Depends whether decades of history should count for anything. PCs have been able to run 3rd party software from anywhere since the 1970s (original Altair, then Tandys, etc). Some people who've been using PCs for decades may not appreciate MSFT locking down Windows and forcing all software to be installed from the MSFT Store.

              Would that also mean that new Windows Lockdown version wouldn't be able to run portable software (which doesn't require installation)? How about people developing their own EXEs? They'd have to load them into the store before running them?

              It may not be valuable to some, but it's valuable to others to be able to install, say, 10-year-old utilities they've come to rely upon, old games whose vendors have gone out of business so won't ever be coming to the store.

              I figure one of the last things MSFT would ever do is give millions of home PC users any reason to check whether Linux + Crossover (or wine) could run enough of their own Windows software that they no longer need Windows itself. Google pissing all over MSFT won't change that.

              • Bart

                In reply to hrlngrv:

                I hear you, but I don't necessarily think that hanging on to the past is the right way forward. For too long IMHO MS has been trying to please everybody. This is simply a model that is unsustainable.

                Nor do I see a serious threat from Linux + crossover. Sure, some people on this website might know how to use it, but I for one wouldn't know where to start. Obviously I am not a reflection of society, but people want a system that is simple and 'just works'. Computing device, a central place to find apps, and run with it. Not mess about with drivers etc.

                Whether locking down Windows 10 now is a great idea, fair enough, I doubt it. But let MS announce that in 2 years from now all programs / apps have to go through the Store. Nothing wrong with that.

                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to Bart:

                  Myself, I'd be thrilled if MSFT ditched the Home SKU and sold only S and Pro, with an upgrade path from S to Pro (possibly for a one-time fee) and a downgrade path from Pro to S (for free), then be open about what its customers chose to use.

                  Re simple and just works, a Chromebook with links to Office web apps is simple and just works (OK, as long as there's a solid network connection). For personal use, Office web apps are more than adequate for most people. Picture touch-up? Pixlr Editor works reasonably well. And Chromebooks use the latest Chrome as their browser, so rather more complete than Windows 10 S's Edge.

                  If MSFT announced that in 2 years everything would have to go through the store, would all ISVs meekly resign themselves? Maybe, but I figure there'd be a revolt.

                  Also, if no software could be used if it didn't come from the Store, how would Windows developers test new software? Gotta bounce it into the Store than back to the developer's PC before it could be debugged? Gotta pay extra to be able to side-load software?

                  Finally, pure speculation, but could the wording of Visual Studio licenses get in the way? If there were any wording in VS licenses which mentioned ISVs being able freely to distribute software developed using VS to their own customers/clients, could that preclude MSFT from locking down Windows? IANAL, but I do know that contracts impose restrictions on both parties and usually prohibit either party from making material unilateral changes, e.g., MSFT changing terms so that they'd get a 30% cut of all ISVs' software sales revenues.

              • BravoCharlie

                In reply to hrlngrv:

                I think the best approach for MS is to encourage use of store apps, and allow the use of win32 browsers only via a containerised virtualisation layer.  This way, if Google want their browser to perform 'properly' and have access to system resources, then they will have to develop a version for the store.  If Google wants to continue with Win32 and penalise MS, then their users will experience a performance penalty due to virtualisation. It also addresses any security concerns that MS may have which relate to third party browsers.


                MS also need to lift the stupid restrictions on use of the Edge rendering engine or nobody will be interested in running the store version anyway.


                • hrlngrv

                  In reply to BravoCharlie:

                  MSFT is already encouraging use of Store apps.

                  If MSFT were willing to support arbitrary desktop software in containers, where's the support for that?

                  However, more fundamentally, MSFT has to accommodate to some extent the expectations of Windows PC users, and one huge expectation is being able to run any & every piece of desktop software those users want to use. MSFT really can't dictate to users without driving a lot of them away from Windows.


        • RedSign

          In reply to Bart:

          Ah, yeah, my bad. Then we are on the same boat. :)

  10. JacobTheDev

    Microsoft is being stupid by forcing all apps to use EdgeHTML. It's anticompetitive behavior, and harms users.

    • WP7Mango

      In reply to Jacob-Bearce:

      Apple forces browser apps to use WebKit, but I haven't seen you complaining about it. Besides, it's not really anti-competitive.

      • RedSign

        In reply to WP7Mango:

        It is. How in the world should forcing a browser engine be not anticompetitve? What Apple is doing is in no way better. That's why there are people that hate Stores because they feel that they are forced in some ways. I don't think that way personally but not allowing other rendering engines is a limitation that is a no-go for using a system like Windows 10 S with Store support only. On Android this is allowed so that Firefox is able to use its own rendering engine on that platform, too. So, it can be done.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to WP7Mango:

        Do you mean Apple forces browsers on Macs to use Webkit? I thought Google for Macs uses Blink and Firefox for Mac uses Gecko. No?

        If we were talking phones and tablets which don't support desktop software, you'd have a point. However, in the Wonderful Word of Windows, phones are dying off and there really haven't ever been any tablets which didn't run desktop software, though Windows RT only ran bundled desktop software.

        No other microcomputer OS imposes restrictions on rendering engines.

        • WP7Mango

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          Yes, I was talking about tablets not desktops...


          But my point still stands, especially since the tablet market for Apple is orders of magnitude larger than their desktop market.


          Windows itself does not impose a restriction on rendering engines. That restriction is only for apps delivered via the store.


          • hrlngrv

            In reply to WP7Mango:

            . . . the tablet market for Apple is orders of magnitude larger than their desktop market . . .

            Per IDC, Apple shipped 4.9 million Macs in 2017Q3 and 10.3 million iPads. More than double, but not orders of magnitude.

            Since MSFT effectively doesn't compete in the tablet w/o desktop market, what Apple and Google do is irrelevant to what MSFT does.

            As long as no one needs to use the MSFT Store to install software (other than those choosing to use Windows 10 S), I don't care what restrictions MSFT places on their store.

      • JacobTheDev

        In reply to WP7Mango:

        I absolutely complain about Apple doing that ?

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to Jacob-Bearce:

      It’s is foolish, but it’s not anti-competitive.

      • JacobTheDev

        In reply to jimchamplin:

        How is it not anti-competitive? They're trying to force users into using Edge, that seems pretty anticompetitive to me. I know they're the underdog in this market, but that doesn't mean they should be forcing out competition. You can argue that you can just install software from the web, but it seems like Microsoft's pushing for the Store to be the primary delivery service for software going forward; just look at Windows 10 S.

  11. skane2600

    Pointless because one could just visit the product website to download it? Couldn't that argument be made for any Win32 program - why do people need to go the MS store when they could just download it from the Internet? What added value does the Store provide?

  12. alexoughton

    The reviews on the store are amusing. Most people seem to be somehow angry at the presence of this downloader, and believe it's Google's fault that they can't release the full browser on the store.

  13. feek

    This seems troll-ish

  14. jimchamplin

    Yeah.


    Microsoft really needs to relax that stipulation. At least for major vendors like El Goog and Firefox.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Cynical speculation: can MSFT route network traffic from UWP apps through Cortana? Would UWP/Store versions of Chrome, Firefox, etc using rendering engines other than EdgeHTML or MSFT Javascript system bypass any, er, value-added services MSFT could provide through Cortana?

  15. manzoor_e

    Does the Store page show up in Windows 10S as well? Cause from what I understand, the "app" would install just fine on 10S, but the subsequently downloaded installer won't run, which IMO is a huge UW issue. Big part of potential 10S users are not versed in those nuances.

  16. marcondos

    It makes sense for the average (or below average) users new to Windows 10 that tend to think that every single program they had on Windows XP, 7 can be downloaded from the Store. I have seen this happen.

  17. Snowsky419

    Does this mean that Chrome will be available on Windows 10 S?

  18. RM

    I am glad Microsoft is keeping Chromium and other engines out of the Microsoft Store. Google and Apple started the stupidity and so Microsoft it just playing by the same rules. Google is just serving it's own best interests here (not those of its' customers of course). Microsoft has decided to offer Edge on Android and iOS using the required engines on those OSes. Maybe someday Google and Apple will do the same thing . . . after all, they created the rules!

  19. harry12

    There are Better Browsers than Google Chrome.

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