Firefox for Windows 8 preview due by end of September

Earlier this year, Mozilla announced its plans to release a version of its Firefox web browser that would be made specifically for the Metro (now "Modern") UI in Windows 8. This week, one of the programmers on the project, Brian Bondy, has offered up a new development update on Firefox for Windows 8.

In a new post on his blog, Bondy states, "Work on the Metro style enabled desktop browser has progressed steadily and things are looking really good." Bondy says that Mozilla now plans to release a preview version of Firefox for Windows 8 sometime in the third quarter, which means that the company is targeting a launch before the end of September. Bondy adds that he believes Mozilla has plans for a beta release sometime in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Bondy also lists a number of the features that the Windows 8 Firefox team have implemented into their development build, including crash reporting, a built in PDF viewer, windowless Flash support and more. While add-on support won't be a part of the first version of the Windows 8 port, Bondy says that add-on support will be put into the browser in the future.

Bondy also says, "We'll have some kind of sync functionality to sync data between your Metro interface and your desktop interface. We're hoping for a local, no setup sync functionality, but at worst it will be done through the current sync functionality."

Source: Brian Bondy's blog

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26 Comments

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thealexweb said,
Will it update through Windows Store or directly from Mozilla's servers?

From Mozilla. Metro Firefox will be distributed with desktop Firefox instead of in the Store.

Josh the Nerd said,

From Mozilla. Metro Firefox will be distributed with desktop Firefox instead of in the Store.

I thought Metro Apps could only be installed from the Windows Store? -.^

thealexweb said,

I thought Metro Apps could only be installed from the Windows Store? -.^

"Metro style enabled desktop browsers" are the (bizarre) exception to the rules. They're Win32 apps that are allowed to run in Metro mode. Since they can't pass Windows Store certification, they're allowed to be distributed with their desktop counterparts. The catch is that a browser can't run in Metro mode unless it's the default browser. http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=243079

billyea said,
Will the Modern UI version work with extensions? If so, how will extensions that modify the chrome work?

Currently Chrome is just a desktop app running in Modern App window.

Vasya_Vodochkin said,

Currently Chrome is just a desktop app running in Modern App window.

I'm not entirely sure how that answers my question. Do you mean that Firefox will also just be the standard Firefox interface enlarged?
If it helps clarify, I didn't mean THAT "Chrome", I mean "window chrome" as in the UI of the Firefox browser itself.

No, unlike the current Google Chrome it will have a "Modern UI".
Speaking of extensions and chrome, I don't know. Perhaps it will work like on Android. They're still developing basic functionality, so extensions are far on the horizon.

Is this really a modern winrt app or just a modern UI looking desktop app? Because those are two different things in the end.

GP007 said,
Is this really a modern winrt app or just a modern UI looking desktop app? Because those are two different things in the end.

It's a WinRT app, as so far as any browser with their own engine can do so. (i.e, it's as WinRT as Internet Explorer 10 is - so a desktop app inside a WinRT "Window") with a tailored UI

GP007 said,
Is this really a modern winrt app or just a modern UI looking desktop app? Because those are two different things in the end.
A modern WinRT app. As stated, "...specifically for the Metro (now "Modern") UI in Windows 8." - you can only use WinRT for the Modern UI interface.

GP007 said,
Is this really a modern winrt app or just a modern UI looking desktop app? Because those are two different things in the end.

It's a bit complicated, but basically, it is a WinRT app. But Metro browsers (including IE10) are a special type of app called "Metro style enabled desktop browsers". They are able to use both WinRT and Win32 APIs when being run as a Metro style app.

~Johnny said,

It's a WinRT app, as so far as any browser with their own engine can do so. (i.e, it's as WinRT as Internet Explorer 10 is - so a desktop app inside a WinRT "Window") with a tailored UI

If that's the case then what was all that about now allowing them to access needed Win32 APIs for their metro/modern browser version and limiting them to WinRT only?

testman said,
A modern WinRT app. As stated, "...specifically for the Metro (now "Modern") UI in Windows 8." - you can only use WinRT for the Modern UI interface.

I'm aware of that fact, but they word it as a "metro styled desktop browser" in the above post. This to me screams a win32 desktop app with a metro/modern UI aka Zune desktop client for example. Though if that's not the case then ok.

GP007 said,

If that's the case then what was all that about now allowing them to access needed Win32 APIs for their metro/modern browser version and limiting them to WinRT only?

Windows RT (the ARM version) is locked down to the Windows Store, which only allows pure WinRT apps. Some Win32 apps, such as IE and Office are included, but it won't allow any third-party software that doesn't come from the Store. With the x86 version, the browser makers have no problem.

GP007 said,

I'm aware of that fact, but they word it as a "metro styled desktop browser" in the above post. This to me screams a win32 desktop app with a metro/modern UI aka Zune desktop client for example. Though if that's not the case then ok.

Confusingly enough, a "Metro style enabled desktop browser" is what Microsoft calls a Win32 browser that runs in the Metro environment. This is the same kind of app as Metro IE. Windows 8 treats it like a WinRT app from the user's point of view, unlike Zune.

Be interesting to see their implementation. I don't care for the Chrome version in "metro". It is exactly like the desktop, even with min,max,close buttons. It just doesn't feel like a "metro" app.

DKAngel said,
meh chrome already has a metro app
It's not even modern, not even close. It's just a full screen version of chrome with bigger controls.