Chrome app launcher for Windows out of beta: why you want it

This week the folks at Google appear to have released the full version of the "Chrome App Launcher" for Windows machines. Though you'll only be able to work with this app on Windows 7 and Windows 8 – not RT at the moment – you'll find the functionality to be – perhaps – a bit liberating if you're used to working with Google services on the regular. While this isn't a return to the Start button, by any means, Google does make it easy here to keep you in the fold.

If you've used Google's Chrome operating system, you should be well familiar with the abilities of this app. What it does for Windows is offer up a pocket – more than just a folder, as it were, of access for apps inside a Google Chrome web browser. You will need the internet to access most of these apps, while we're expecting offline support for bits and pieces as Chrome OS has.

ABOVE: Chrome app launcher as it exists in Chrome OS – essentially the same as it looks in Windows 7 and Windows 8. You can learn more about Chrome OS and the devices it runs on natively in our SlashGear 101: Google Chromebook from all the way back in 2011. Then get an updated look through our recent

And yes, if you've heard the rumors but haven't ever used Chrome OS, you can indeed work offline with Chrome OS devices.

As a tip to Engadget suggests and our own tests confirm, you can indeed download and use the app launcher working with Windows starting today. Out of Beta mode, that is.

For those of you working with OS X or Linux – you too can use the system, but you're still in Beta. The difference between out-of-beta and Beta modes is slight, essentially circling around a guarantee from Google that everything is in working order. Make with the clicking!