Modern UI Firefox for Windows 8 delayed again till March

The very long development road for the Windows 8 Modern UI port of Firefox will take even longer to reach its final destination. Mozilla has revised its schedule for the web browser, delaying its launch so it can be included in Firefox 28, which is now planned for release on March 18th.

The new date, as revealed on the official Mozilla Wiki page, represents yet another postponement for the browser, which was previously expected to leave its current beta state with the release of Firefox 27. Mozilla first announced their plans to make a version of Firefox specifically for the Modern UI on Windows 8 nearly two years ago in February 2012.

The browser entered into Firefox's Aurora beta channel in September but Mozilla's meeting notes for December 18th show that there are still quite a few bugs left to iron out before it can be released to the public channel. As we previously reported, the browser will be able to share a single profile with the desktop version of Firefox.

By the way, Mozilla has announced it has pushed back the release dates of all of its Firefox versions by two weeks, so that its development team members could enjoy their current holiday break. That means that Firefox 27, which was supposed to be released on January 21st, will now be released on February 4th.

Source: Mozilla Wiki | Image via Mozilla

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Not surprising considering that they haven't implemented multi-process aka electrolysis. From the looks of it appears that there's a 3 year gap between the announcement of a Firefox feature and its implementation in the stable builds.

Don't worry, Firefox, nobody gives a damn about a Metro browser anyway. There's always IE Metro - a real monstrosity...

warwagon said,
Does anyone use Modern UI web browsers on a desktop or non touch laptops?

I run it all the time. Especially when I do HTML/JavaScript work.

I do a mix. Some stuff doesn't work properly on the modern browser for me, so I often find myself reverting to desktop. In general, I now prefer modern UI apps. Took a while to get there, though.

I rarely use the browser as I dislike its setup, but it is handy if need it side by side with another app. Mostly play games or use video apps though in Metro. I like the Mail app as well.

68k said,
Who actually prefers/uses Metro apps anyway? I haven't touched any for a while now.

Metro browsers are brilliant with touch...even more so than the mobile browsers that we are used to on Android and iOS...

68k said,
Who actually prefers/uses Metro apps anyway? I haven't touched any for a while now.

It depends really. On a desktop I don't tend to use that many other than things like Netflix and some games. On my Surface I obviously use more but really find the browser and mail apps are great to use with your fingers.

I don't think so. Most Metro screens are on tablets. Which means 12-8 inch screens. And with Metro buttons being the size they are, screen real estate which is a precious commodity an a small screen anyway is taken up by huge buttons and URL bars.

"it can be included in Firefox 28"

Probably though Firefox 4586, which is planned for release on August 18th

(yeah, that joke never gets old)

You know IE11 is pleasant to use, Probably the best Modern Browser available(especially for new 8" tablets like Venue 8 Pro)

If and when Mozilla do release Modern Firefox, I'll likely stick with IE anyway, thing is smooth and fast

Chrome has its Modern mode but frankly its pure garbage.. and IF they turn it into a Chrome OS like experience well it will be bloated unnecessary garbage

I like IE 11 as well, but a choice is still really important. There are still a lot of sites that behave differently in IE and Firefox, and being able to switch to another browser on an RT device would be terribly handy in those instances.

Have you tried to use IE Modern mode with sites like feedly.com?
I guess you can blame feedly for using such "weird" user interface, but for first timer trying to login, there is no way to do it with touch. You have to use a mouse to sign in..

I speak from experience on a Dell Venue 8 Pro by the way

I just wish I could allow plugins on modern UI IE for my Dell Venue 8 Pro. I try really hard to tolerate the YouTube ads but when they come in at 120% the volume of the show I am watching and blast me ears every time I hear them I decide to block them again with an ad block. And I cant do that in the modern IE =/. Have to load into desktop mode.

"We can't for **** support Windows 8, but we can still give you a decent browser for Windows XP! That's cool, right? Guys? Hello?"

da00 said,
Firefox has just gone ****ty since version 3...

2.X was godlike.


Why do you think so? Been using it since forever (while always updating to the latest stable version) and couldn't be happier with it. Tried to switch browsers a few times (to Chrome/Chromium (srware iron and the likes), Opera and others) for the hell of it and none of them could reach the usability that I'm getting from Firefox due to it's customization of the settings and large selection of extensions that actually do their job properly. Always returned back to Firefox after short period of time.

So much anger in the first 2 posts lol

FF being on Win 8 won't suddenly make it surpass XP, let alone Win 7, in usage.

Maybe you should look at Microsoft and the WinRT API since no one else is releasing too many full blown desktop grade Modern UI apps, Microsoft's own core apps are still lacking functionality in their second year, and Modern Apps still spontaneously quit.

At some point you have to look at the platform. I don't believe all the developers out there, including Microsoft's are that incompetent.

Edited by MorganX, Jan 2 2014, 1:29pm :

Dot Matrix said,
"We can't for **** support Windows 8, but we can still give you a decent browser for Windows XP! That's cool, right? Guys? Hello?"
If development did stop for XP, Chrome's market share would increase rapidly. What Microsoft must do is start to force people over to Win 7 and 8, like Apple did with OS 9 --> OS X. One way to achieve this is to base Windows 9 on UNIX, and force developers to write new software for that platform only. Agree?

Edited by 68k, Jan 2 2014, 2:56pm :

Much of the Modern UI is sandboxed anyway which means a bunch of extensions and plugins don't work, this also goes for IE in Modern mode. My question is really, who needs it?

MorganX said,
Maybe you should look at Microsoft and the WinRT API since no one else is releasing too many full blown desktop grade Modern UI apps, Microsoft's own core apps are still lacking functionality in their second year, and Modern Apps still spontaneously quit.

At some point you have to look at the platform. I don't believe all the developers out there, including Microsoft's are that incompetent.

There are a lot of things to discuss about WinRT, but throwing out things like Apps spontaneously quitting will bury any credibility in the discussion.

There is very little still missing from the platform with the release of 8.1 in terms of APi needs; however, developers using these changes are still working on 'major' Apps. One example would be something like Project Spark.

I agree the initial/early WinRT Apps from Microsoft were crap and built by the wrong team. They acted more like something warmed over from the XB360 instead of WP or even using the Win8 model.

The Apps that launched with 8.1 are more in line with the Win8 model that also aligns with the WP versions. (Notice the ... at the bottom of Mail, IE11, etc.)

As for the assertion that Apps close, if this is happening, you have something wrong. The initial update to 8.1 fixed the stability issue that only affect IE11. I have yet to see any Apps close except as designed and they resume as expected.

Edited by Mobius Enigma, Jan 2 2014, 2:12pm :

Mobius Enigma said,
As for the assertion that Apps close, if this is happening, you have something wrong.

No, I don't have anything wrong. I've never had a Win32 app quit when switch to (from suspended state I would imagine) or upon launch, 3 - 4 times. And I don't believe anyone that uses Modern UI apps daily and has many suspended and switches between them, does not experience this more often than should be acceptable (which is never).

That's just a fact on desktop and tablet. If you actually haven't, and you use the Modern UI a lot, consider yourself lucky. Ignoring it won't make it go away, nor will the percentage that do not experience anomalies. IE 11 was never unstable for me, it just becomes unresponsive and a close and reopen (modern UI) takes care of it.

I'll take your word for it on the API. I can only surmise from the products being produced by it or not being produced.

Dot Matrix said,
"We can't for **** support Windows 8, but we can still give you a decent browser for Windows XP! That's cool, right? Guys? Hello?"

LOL. After reading that quote I scrolled down. Then I thought... wait... it had a lot of XP hate, did Dot Matrix write that? Yep!

Windows XP does have like almost 20% more market share then Windows 8. LOL Personally, I wish Mozilla wasn't wasting resources on a Modern UI version of Firefox. I would think most people who are not using the default IE are also using desktop mode.

MorganX said,

No, I don't have anything wrong. I've never had a Win32 app quit when switch to (from suspended state I would imagine) or upon launch, 3 - 4 times. And I don't believe anyone that uses Modern UI apps daily and has many suspended and switches between them, does not experience this more often than should be acceptable (which is never).

That's just a fact on desktop and tablet. If you actually haven't, and you use the Modern UI a lot, consider yourself lucky. Ignoring it won't make it go away, nor will the percentage that do not experience anomalies. IE 11 was never unstable for me, it just becomes unresponsive and a close and reopen (modern UI) takes care of it.

I'll take your word for it on the API. I can only surmise from the products being produced by it or not being produced.

I've never seen a Modern app just close either. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen to some people but you're the first person I've seen complaining about it which suggests that it's not a widespread problem. However, if you have any facts that support your argument that this is a constant problem for a majority of users then I'd love to see them.

As for app quality, that problem was fixed in Win8.1 and the current batch of built-in apps are great.

Proving a problem is for a majority of users is a ridiculous online forum request. But feel free to google Modern UI app quits on start/resume.

It can be "very" bad on ENT version 8 and 8.1.

Whether or not the built-in apps are great is subjective, you like them, many find the missing functionality unappealing. If you ask what's missing, then it's not missing for you and I won't answer to a asinine "prove" it's missing request. Just to amuse yourself, Google Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps and see if you can find any differing opinions on the functionality of the core apps, still. They have gotten significantly better, if you qualify them as great, you have low standards, many do.

BTW, there are so few people actually "using" the modern ui on the desktop, hopefully these things will be fixed before someone in an online forum "proves" it occurs for the majority of users. Prove is ... wtf!?!

Edited by MorganX, Jan 2 2014, 5:49pm :

MorganX said,
Proving a problem is for a majority of users is a ridiculous online forum request. But feel free to google Modern UI app quits on start/resume.

It can be "very" bad on ENT version 8 and 8.1.

Whether or not the built-in apps are great is subjective, you like them, many find the missing functionality unappealing. If you ask what's missing, then it's not missing for you and I won't answer to a asinine "prove" it's missing request. Just to amuse yourself, Google Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps and see if you can find any differing opinions on the functionality of the core apps, still. They have gotten significantly better, if you qualify them as great, you have low standards, many do.

BTW, there are so few people actually "using" the modern ui on the desktop, hopefully these things will be fixed before someone in an online forum "proves" it occurs for the majority of users. Prove is ... wtf!?!

You guys are arguing in circles. Once again, another example of people arguing over their personal experiences.

One person runs into issues, another person does not. Both assume the other is just 'lucky/unlucky'. Both assume they are the bigger slice of the user pie so to speak. Neither can 'prove' their position thanks to this all being based on the internet community, which is at worst based on hearsay and rumors or at best based on the personal experiences of some handful of users.

Its easy to end the discussion though. Some people continuously run into issues running Modern apps, while some people do not. Done.

So MS needs to help those that are having issues and find out why it is happening. I hope the people that are having continuous issues are contacting MS support and making them aware of the problems.

trooper11 said,

Its easy to end the discussion though. Some people continuously run into issues running Modern apps, while some people do not. Done.

I agree and can live with that. I can't agree that a these issues are non existent. I can't say widespread because relatively speaking, there aren't enough people using Modern apps daily.

Even where we see it, because of it we have a very limited rollout. Our reps are aware and Microsoft is aware of the issues. But as I've said before, the collective quality of apps, or lack thereof suggests there is a steeper learning curve to Modern Development, which is really what this thread is about,. or there are issues running Modern side by side with Win32 on a continuous basis. I'm sure it will improve over time. It is taking a relative long time tbh.

But OnT, given the experiences I've encountered, I'm not surprised by the delay, and would encourage them to delay their Modern app as long as possible to insure a stable, reliable release.

Enterprise issues are always reported. Personal, meh. Today Xbox Video verified account before purchasing a couple episodes of ID Network Wicked Attraction. Took PW, wouldn't do anything. Click by again, took PW, wouldn't do anything. Closed, retried. Same thing. Refuse to reboot, fired up Desktop App > iTunes > bought 2 episodes, no problem. There are alternatives to the hassle.

Is Modern UI garbage, of course not. But it is nowhere near the reliability and stability of W32 apps. Why that is, is debatable. I'm hoping its just the learning curve and not something inherent. It won't ever reach the heights I'm sure MS has set for it until the environment and it's apps are as solid as W32.

There has to be reasons why devs of Modern UI takes so long, and even then often functionality is missing, for some time. I'm sure it's a combination of things. But having my experiences with Modern UI, I am happy they're taking the time to get it right. And hopefully devs are also providing MS feedback.

MorganX said,

There has to be reasons why devs of Modern UI takes so long, and even then often functionality is missing, for some time. I'm sure it's a combination of things. But having my experiences with Modern UI, I am happy they're taking the time to get it right. And hopefully devs are also providing MS feedback.

The fact that some users are not seeing the crashes like you have simply means not everyone is using the same apps and not everyone has the same system setup hardware or software wise. There are so many variables involved here.

I could tell you about the positive experiences I have had using Modern apps up to this point, but then what difference does that make?

I really don't know if WinRT is flawed in some way that results in crashes, but I do know that it is possible to create apps that don't crash. I also know that WinRT has a long way to go to reach the maturity of the W32 platform. Heck, it took many years for W32 itself to reach the maturity level it is at now.

As far as the slow development goes, we have to remember that WinRT is completely new. Even though its been around for a couple years now, its constantly in flux as 1.0 product. When you have a brand new platform, your going to see a lot of updates come out early in its life.

W32 apps are already mature and developers know about all there is to know about how to create a great app using it. MS doesn't make many fundamental changes to it because its a mature platform that has been around for many years.

This whole situation seems perfectly normal to me. MS tries to create a completely new app platform, so of course its going to take quite some time for app developers to get up to speed and even care enough to create apps for the platform at all. As you pointed out, they can just ignore WinRT and keep making those W32 apps that they know how to do so well. I gotta think MS knows all about this, hence why they chose to roll WinRT out as a second option in Windows. They knew they needed time to evolve WinRT.

trooper11 said,

The fact that some users are not seeing the crashes like you have simply means not everyone is using the same apps and not everyone has the same system setup hardware or software wise. There are so many variables involved here.

This whole situation seems perfectly normal to me. MS tries to create a completely new app platform, so of course its going to take quite some time for app developers to get up to speed and even care enough to create apps for the platform at all. As you pointed out, they can just ignore WinRT and keep making those W32 apps that they know how to do so well. I gotta think MS knows all about this, hence why they chose to roll WinRT out as a second option in Windows. They knew they needed time to evolve WinRT.

No argument here. Perhaps that is the risk MS was talking about taking. Somewhat destabilizing the stable, perhaps for a few years. The best Windows on the desktop is the 8.1 Desktop Environment. The potential and flaws in the Modern UI are apparent. I do think it takes a lot of effort to get right and does pose a challenge for developers to choose to invest heavy resources into it. Yet, I think now I'd rather see a well built, fully functional Modern app than a new Win32 app. When they are done right, I do think Modern UI can and should be more usable.

MorganX said,

No argument here. Perhaps that is the risk MS was talking about taking. Somewhat destabilizing the stable, perhaps for a few years. The best Windows on the desktop is the 8.1 Desktop Environment. The potential and flaws in the Modern UI are apparent. I do think it takes a lot of effort to get right and does pose a challenge for developers to choose to invest heavy resources into it. Yet, I think now I'd rather see a well built, fully functional Modern app than a new Win32 app. When they are done right, I do think Modern UI can and should be more usable.


I agree completely.

As you said, how easy is it really to create a completely new app platform from scratch? WinRT is going to be vastly inferior to W32 for some time. MS just needs to buy time to keep improving WinRT and closing that 'maturity' gap by relying on the existing W32 platform to keep them going.

Besides, WinRT can hit a certain point where its reached the maturity of other tablet and smartphone OSes before it gets close to W32 levels, so it makes sense that MS would more heavily push it on those platforms versus desktops and laptops.

68k said,
If development did stop for XP, Chrome's market share would increase rapidly. What Microsoft must do is start to force people over to Win 7 and 8, like Apple did with OS 9 --> OS X. One way to achieve this is to base Windows 9 on UNIX, and force developers to write new software for that platform only. Agree?

Sure, its worked great for RT.