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Windows users denounce Chrome scrollbar changes that mimic Chrome OS

Gregg Keizer | Jan. 17, 2014
Google Chrome users have stormed the company's support forum to complain about a non-standard scrollbar in Chrome 32 that makes it harder for them to navigate pages in Windows.

Earlier this week, however, Google seemed to be rethinking its no-changes stance.

"For the Windows Scroll bar update, we understand that arrows are an important part of the scrollbar for many of you, so we are re-evaluating our design and assessing how we may re-incorporate them in the future," said Google employee SarahMM.

The scrollbar wasn't the only target of users' ire.

Google modified the Metro version of Chrome 32 to make it resemble Chrome OS, the operating system that powers Chromebooks, with the ability to open multiple browser windows, run Chrome apps such as Any.DO and Pocket, and manage a taskbar — called the "Shelf" — that's automatically populated with icons for YouTube, Gmail and other Google services.

Essentially, Chrome subverted the Metro UI in Windows 8 and 8.1, a move that has drawn criticism from some pundits.

Metro, also called "Modern," is the tile-based, touch-centric, app-model user interface (UI) in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 that vies with the traditional Windows-style desktop in those operating systems.

But some of those who wanted to try Chrome 32 on Metro have been unable to get it to launch in that mode on a wide range of Windows devices, according to a quickly-lengthening thread on Google's support forum.

"Stinks. I want to see how the Metro mode looks," said Robby Payne on Tuesday, adding his voice to the clamor from others who were unable to open Metro Chrome after version 32 reached their machines.

As often happens on support threads, users posed solutions they said worked for them, followed by others who reported those tips had been insufficient on their PCs or tablets, including Microsoft-made Surface devices.

On Wednesday, SarahMM, who has been busy stamping out complaint fires on the Chrome support forum, referred users to a known-problem page (found under "Hardware issues"), where the company spelled out two situations that block Chrome from running in Metro, indicating that Google is aware of the problems and presumably working on them.


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