Don't expect Google's Chrome browser to come to Windows 10 S

When Microsoft debuted Windows 10 S at an event last week, it billed its inability to install apps from outside the confines of the Windows Store as a security feature. Unfortunately, that's also inevitably going to cause some limitations, one of which is a likely restriction on browser choice.

Technically, Microsoft notes that any browser can come to the Windows Store. And in theory, that could also include Win32 browsers like Chrome and Firefox. However, a provision in the Windows Store Policies recently spotted by ZDNet would effectively deter that:

10.2 SecurityYour app must not jeopardize or compromise user security, or the security or functionality of the device, system or related systems.10.2.1Apps that browse the web must use the appropriate HTML and JavaScript engines provided by the Windows Platform.

In a separate statement provided to ZDNet, a Microsoft spokesman said:

Windows Store apps that browse the web must use HTML and JavaScript engines provided by the Windows Platform. All Windows Store content is certified by Microsoft to help ensure a quality experience and keep your devices safer. With this policy, instated early this year, the browser a customer chooses in the Store will ensure the protections and safeguards of our Windows platform. If people would like to access apps from other stores and services, they can switch to Windows 10 Pro at any time.

It's a restriction that's similarly seen in iOS, which requires browsers to use their rendering engines. Google's Chrome OS itself is restricted to using the Chrome browser. It's entirely possible that Google could opt to build a separate UWP browser built around the rendering engine found in Windows, but, as ZDNet points out, Google's track record with Windows apps makes that unlikely.

Thanks to Malcolm for the tip!

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl