Mozilla puts Firefox for Windows 8 on hold indefinitely

After two years of development, Mozilla has just announced that it has decided to stop development of the version of its Firefox web browser made for the Modern UI of Windows 8. 

In a blog post, Johnathan Nightingale, the vice-president of Mozilla's Firefox team, said the decision to put the Windows 8 version on hold was made earlier this week. He stated, "The team is solid and did good work, but shipping a 1.0 version, given the broader context we see for the Metro platform, would be a mistake."

The reason for the decision was apparently the lack of active testers for the Modern UI version in earlier alpha and beta tests. Nightingale said that "... we’ve never seen more than 1000 active daily users in the Metro environment."

He added:

This leaves us with a hard choice. We could ship it, but it means doing so without much real-world testing. That’s going to mean lots of bugs discovered in the field, requiring a lot of follow up engineering, design, and QA effort. To ship it without doing that follow up work is not an option. If we release a product, we maintain it through end of life. When I talk about the need to pick our battles, this feels like a bad one to pick: significant investment and low impact.

While the code that was developed for the Windows 8 Firefox browser will continue to be made available, Nightingale said that the web browser team will now "focus our efforts in places where we can reach more people. There’s a lot more of that work still to do."

The decision comes just a few days before the release of Firefox 28 on March 18, which would have included the first non-beta release of the Modern-Metro Windows 8 version. Mozilla first announced their plans for a Windows 8 port of its web browser in February 2012. The company released the first early birds on its nightly test channel in February 2013 and the Aurora test channel in September. The final beta version was released in early February of 2014.

Source: Mozilla | Image via Mozilla

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Might be more to do with the fact that IE11 is a lot better than previous versions of IE, and people using it aren't too interested in changing.

Interestingly, I've noticed that Chrome on low-spec laptops and netbooks can perform very poorly - can't even play a youtube video! Whereas still buttery smooth in IE11.

Which is bizarre. Whoever would've though that MS would make a really decent fast efficient browser?

They will be eating crow before long
but shame on MS. They made it way too hard to make apps. VLC took a year+. WinRT really needs to open up for complex apps.

VLC took a year plus thanks to their decision to port all the code meant for other platforms. If they'd started out afresh they'd have got there much faster, just as other media player Metro apps did.

I hate it when people refer to the metro UI as "modern". It is far from modern and looks and feels like those addon UIs that you can put ontop of Explorer that make everything slower. It is exactly that.

DaveBG said,
I hate it when people refer to the metro UI as "modern". It is far from modern and looks and feels like those addon UIs that you can put ontop of Explorer that make everything slower. It is exactly that.

In fact, Metro UI has been rebranded as Modern UI. Modern UI is following a concept called Art Nouveau (New Art) and that's why the name. However, Modern is just a name. And here is where the sarcasm hit, right now Modern UI is a retro style.

DaveBG said,
I hate it when people refer to the metro UI as "modern". It is far from modern and looks and feels like those addon UIs that you can put ontop of Explorer that make everything slower. It is exactly that.

WTF are you smoking? Modern UI makes everything quicker and easier to read. Also simpler, less visual cacophony, easier on the eye, and no more stupid pretend skeumorphic graphics.

To everyone who latched onto the "1000 users of a buggy virtually unknown FF beta" statement and is brain-dead enough to equate it to "1000 users of Metro", VLC Metro's first beta zoomed past 38,000 downloads in a jiffy. Just goes to show if people know about it and it's worth using, there are plenty of Metro app users out there. Microsoft may very well allow Metro to be optionally turned off in a future version but everyone crying for its complete elimination from the OS will be left sobbing for sure.

Romero said,
To everyone who latched onto the "1000 users of a buggy virtually unknown FF beta" statement and is brain-dead enough to equate it to "1000 users of Metro", VLC Metro's first beta zoomed past 38,000 downloads in a jiffy. Just goes to show if people know about it and it's worth using, there are plenty of Metro app users out there. Microsoft may very well allow Metro to be optionally turned off in a future version but everyone crying for its complete elimination from the OS will be left sobbing for sure.

No. The VLC case is that, people just want a good program to work correctly on the Frankenstein mess that they are using. It works rather well elsewhere, has done so for years, without anything needing to be 'turned off', frankly

Desktop VLC works fine and is far more stable and feature rich so don't try and tell me all 38,000 downloads were x86 tablet users who wanted a touch-capable app. The only people trying desperately to deny that Metro app users exist even on desktop PCs are those who cannot get past their hate of a "mobile OS" intruding onto their desktop one. I hope MS does allow them to turn Metro off, while the rest of us can enjoy both environments as we please depending on our needs.

38,000 users wanting it to work, but a great proportion of that not getting what they wanted, is the real story , so back to 'why am I running this OS?' all over again, yup.

There really is zero significant development going on for the Metro UI. Nothing but crappy tablet apps that are useless on a PC.

Something like 0.3% of Windows 8.x users use Metro Apps. Mozilla is taking the wise choice of action here.

Glad to see someone else is aware of the obvious. There is an old saying that is so cogent. "There ares none so blind as those who don't wish to see."

chrisj1968 said,
This goes to show that not all feel that modern UI is worthwhile. It has its place in the tablet and mobile devices.

Mozilla also doesn't feel that 64-bit is worthwhile.

Nightingale said that "... we've never seen more than 1000 active daily users in the Metro environment."

Wow that's pretty damning assessment of the popularity, or lack thereof of Metro.

In all honesty though, Mozilla should concentrate resources on the desktop and mobile (Android and Firefox OS) versions. Metro is just a distraction and the resources could be put to a better use.

yeah okay, as much as I like Windows 8, this is pretty much were I draw the line...people like me may think Windows 8 is good, but it doesn't change anything, Windows 8 is a failure.

I can't think of one good reason why I would use anything other than IE 11 on my Surface 2. It's fast, capable, secure and integrated nicely into the OS.

So this leaves IE11, so far as I know, as the only true Metro browser.

Google Chrome has gone down a very weird route indeed by trying to embed an alternative Google App environment inside Metro.

Yeah right, if number of users is anything to go by, there would be no Linux distro left. And I am not joking here. Google only develops stuff that enables them to steal your data, so please don't even mention them, by far the most repulsive company in the world.

simplezz said,
I imagine Google will drop it soon too. The number of users just can't justify the develop time and resources.

Oh and tell me why Google still bothers with chrome os ? For every Chrome os user, there are at least 20 to 30 Windows 8 users, and that is a pretty conservative estimate.

That's the right move!
Metro UI sucks!
Windows 8 has been proved to degrade the productivity of my company and thus my company had moved from Windows 8 back to Windows 7.

ray_bk said,
That's the right move!
Metro UI sucks!
Windows 8 has been proved to degrade the productivity of my company and thus my company had moved from Windows 8 back to Windows 7.

Bullocks. Why did you upgrade without proper testing? Did you provide a pilot program? Did you provide training? How did the Start Screen hinder your productivity? The desktop still works the same. Something's not right with that statement.

Dot Matrix said,
Bullocks. Why did you upgrade without proper testing?
Ha, ha, incompetent IT personnel need to be fired, or someone's lying. I bet it's the latter.

Strange, very strange. I have tried Firefox metro and it didn't seem like a half baked product to me. In fact even in beta form it was miles ahead of the Chrome metro version. I still prefer IE11, but that's just because IE11 is such a solid browser.

To me it looks like there is an hidden agenda here, certainly one would ship a product that is near release after having been developed for two years.

There are plenty of people actively using the metro environment, Mozilla should finish what they started and not back down with a lame excuse, unless of course they have some strange desire to not be taken seriously, because that is what they did achieve as far as I'm concerned, unprofessional no other words for it.

sjaak327 said,
To me it looks like there is an hidden agenda here, certainly one would ship a product that is near release after having been developed for two years.
<conspiracy_theory>
  Their paymasters i.e. Google "encouraged" them to do this.
</conspiracy_theory>

(Cue outrage from Google fanboys who can't take a joke.)

another nail in the coffin for windows8 an or Desktop PC's. its all Mobile an or Tablet Market now. Desktop PC's are just abouty Dead

So because Firefox users (Who aren't an overwhelming majority of web users anyway) aren't flocking to use a beta product, somehow that is the stick that should be used to gauge the success of an entire platform?

I use Metro IE when I'm using my tablet, so because I'm not contributing to the firefox statistics, somehow that's not a statistic worth considering is that it?

Do you even think about what you were saying before you posted it, or do you just automatically post ill-conceived conclusions? (Please note, this is not just directed at you, you're one of many who followed the same brainless pattern of nonsense)

Desktop PCs dead? Really. Try doing any kind of intensive data entry or content creation on a tablet/smartphone. Tap, tap, tap, one character at a time... (Oh, add a tiny keyboard to a tablet? That is just a two-piece laptop or a somewhat miniaturized desktop.)

TsarNikky said,
Desktop PCs dead? Really. Try doing any kind of intensive data entry or content creation on a tablet/smartphone. Tap, tap, tap, one character at a time... (Oh, add a tiny keyboard to a tablet? That is just a two-piece laptop or a somewhat miniaturized desktop.)

And the difference between a laptop and a Surface like tablet, is what, exactly? I do work on my laptop and tablet all the time. I mainly travel with my Surface. The tiny keyboard does nothing to hinder productivity. Unless you have Hulk sized hands (I doubt you do), there is nothing wrong with using a smaller keyboard. It still works the same.

Mozilla said they don't have enough resources to maintain it, but anyone else is free to come along and make such a thing possible.

Anyway they didn't say they'll never do it, just that they won't do it for now. I'm sure if it turns out 35% or more of their users use Metro, they'll definitely get back on board.

Hmm so instead they are focusing on reinventing the wheel again on a crappy low end mobile OS to compete with android, go figure...

"1000 users at given time". Pretty much what I see and hear in the real world. Point blank, most consumers don't want this modern nonsense. Hopefully Microsoft can get this together.

JHBrown said,
"1000 users at given time". Pretty much what I see and hear in the real world. Point blank, most consumers don't want this modern nonsense. Hopefully Microsoft can get this together.

learn to read.

1000 users of Firefox metro != 1000 users of Metro

there are millions of Windows tablet users who enjoy Metro.

and many who enjoy metro on the desktop too, including mac users

http://www.zdnet.com/dogs-and-...s-and-mac-users-7000027077/

link8506 said,

learn to read.

1000 users of Firefox metro != 1000 users of Metro

there are millions of Windows tablet users who enjoy Metro.

and many who enjoy metro on the desktop too, including mac users

http://www.zdnet.com/dogs-and-...s-and-mac-users-7000027077/

Mate, you're trying to course correct a ship that's been completely sabotaged by the inmates. Don't bother bringing facts or a rational argument into this discussion, it's all about ignorant anti-Metro rants and nothing else here mate.

Apparently, because I don't want to use firefox, but I do enjoy using Metro, my statistic is completely irrelevant, because it's firefox users that are a relevant statistic when comparing the success of a platform.

JHBrown said,
"1000 users at given time". Pretty much what I see and hear in the real world. Point blank, most consumers don't want this modern nonsense. Hopefully Microsoft can get this together.

1000 beta testers, these are not consumers.

Ideas Man said,
Don't bother bringing facts or a rational argument into this discussion, it's all about ignorant anti-Metro rants and nothing else here mate.
So very true. /thread

JHBrown said,
"1000 users at given time". Pretty much what I see and hear in the real world. Point blank, most consumers don't want this modern nonsense. Hopefully Microsoft can get this together.

Users that know about the beta and bothered getting the beta and found it stable/fast/convenient enough to actually use.

Mozilla has been half-arsing their development for YEARS! This is so frustrating!!!

They should just close-up shop for a few months while their developers learn how to build software properly, then they can return to developing -- hopefully with some vigor and attention to as much about quality as detail and punctuality.

Hmmmm. I tried it out on my tablet but found it too buggy for daily use, and since proper beta testing requires a fair amount of time, and it was about as clear as mud where the testing instructions and bug reports were, I left it to those more familiar with the FF dev process.

So it seems, did everyone else...

scaramonga said,
keep the development for worthwhile platforms.
Yes, like their crappy Firefox OS no doubt which has even less users than Metro and is a bigger drain on their resources.

Very wise move, if it is to better prepare Mozilla's FireFox for Windows-9. Pandering to the "Modern UI" of windows-8 to the exclusion of all others is not a wise business choice.

If so many people here don't like Mozilla and/or Firefox why are they so annoyed about Mozilla stopping development?

The fact is they don't have enough resources to work on it and they don't have enough real world users. Seems fair enough to me ozilla don't have unlimited funds and unless they can justify development and testing costs then it is not a good investment for them at the moment.

I don't think people realise that a web browser is THE most complex application running on your computer (not including the OS obviously). Firefox isn't just a browser but a whole rendering engine and web platform. Think about how much a browser has to handle. HTML. CSS. JavaScript. XML. Image formats. Video formats. Audio formats. Plugins (Flash, etc.). Extensions. Plus hundreds of other incredibly complex technologies. Comparing Firefox to VLC is not an apples to apples comparison. Sure VLC is complex too however Firefox is by far the more complex application.

When more people use Modern UI then Firefox will start up work again. ITT: Everyone is apparently a top class browser developer who seems to think Mozilla are being lazy and/or are stupid for not getting Modern UI browser out. Well then stick to IE? Why does it matter if you don't like Firefox and think Mozilla are finished?

I tried it out on my tablet and it was sluggish. If addons worked, I would have kept it. I always go back to metro IE on my tablet. IE rendering, pinch zoom, and navigation is much faster than any other browser.

Mozilla has issues rendering its own browser's GUI animations at a decent frame rate. There are a ton of bugs on it - animations aren't smooth, laggy, etc.

Do you expect developers that bloody incompetent to be able to develop a modern browser?

The also don't want to support 64-bit - you know, the last 6 or so years of technological progress.

Mozilla lost their focus, they forgot what they used to do best which is Firefox Browsers on different platforms and instead focusing on things like Firefox OS and Mobile which noone gives a ####. I think they made a huge mistake. I have no doubt they will be back in Development of Windows 8 Metro Based Firefox at somepoint but hopefully its not too late. they already lost a huge market share to Chrome.

that would be more profitable than creating something for UI that is used only by people who have no idea what Firefox is and that the internet is the Internet Explorer icon on their desktop or google website.

"... we've never seen more than 1000 active daily users in the Metro environment." ... wonder what else they are tracking from the users?

Anyway, sound a lot like the whole Firefox x64 thing.

hagjohn said,
wonder what else they are tracking from the users?

Under advanced/data choices you'll see what's being sent and have the option to turn it off.

This could be similar to when WordPerfect decided to not bother with Windows because the GUI was not gonna take off. Look at what happened.

Rudy said,
Except we already know people don't like the Metro UI

donot be so sure. people don't like change but eventually when they See Modern UI every where from super markets to kiosks to restaurants to hospitals, they will going to like it because as Its name indicated Modern UI. unlike others expanding rows of icons which reminds you of first generation of touch screens, modern UI is actually modern looking maximizing use of display, informative and live icons with live information and borderless applications of course with some enhancement of course because right now its half baked

Rudy said,
Except we already know people don't like the Metro UI

Some people don't like it, and unfortunately, they're also the ones who won't shut up about it.

You don't like it, that's fine. However, you don't speak for everyone, and your view is not weighted more than those of other people.

Ideas Man said,

Some people don't like it,


Wrong, the vast majority of consumers don't like it and that's the main reason windows 8.X became a colossal failure at the retail level like it or not.

I originally felt this was just another nail in the coffin for windows 8.x however I don't think there's any room left for any more nails.

Order_66 said,
I originally felt this was just another nail in the coffin for windows 8.x however I don't think there's any room left for any more nails.

you're wrong.

this "Metro Firefox" was a win32 app, not a winRT app, which means it won't be compatible with the WinRT-only sku of windows 9

that's why it was stupid to waste development time on it.

http://www.zdnet.com/six-click...dows-9_p5-7000027318/#photo

I guess they are now considering a real WinRT port, without win32 dependency

link8506 said,

you're wrong.

this "Metro Firefox" was a win32 app, not a winRT app, which means it won't be compatible with the WinRT-only sku of windows 9

that's why it was stupid to waste development time on it.

http://www.zdnet.com/six-click...dows-9_p5-7000027318/#photo

I guess they are now considering a real WinRT port, without win32 dependency


There is no suche thing as a "real WinRT port", because if they do so, it would just be a shell on top of Internet Explorer.

link8506 said,

you're wrong.

this "Metro Firefox" was a win32 app, not a winRT app, which means it won't be compatible with the WinRT-only sku of windows 9

that's why it was stupid to waste development time on it.

http://www.zdnet.com/six-click...dows-9_p5-7000027318/#photo

I guess they are now considering a real WinRT port, without win32 dependency

What are you even talking about??! Windows RT is the ARM based version of Windows. WinRT is the new Windows Run Time. Two very different things.

As for browsers on Windows RT the only choice is IE. Even other browsers available in the Windows Store are just a different UI wrapped around the IE rendering and JavaScript engines. Microsoft does not allow a full replacement browser to be installed on Windows RT at present and this policy may not change if Microsoft do not want it too.

ditoax said,

What are you even talking about??! Windows RT is the ARM based version of Windows. WinRT is the new Windows Run Time. Two very different things.

currently Windows RT is a SKU targeting only ARM chips.

but with windows 9, Microsoft will release an OS similar to Windows RT, but for x86/x64 CPUs: in other words, it won't run win32 apps (it will run only WinRT apps).


As for browsers on Windows RT the only choice is IE. Even other browsers available in the Windows Store are just a different UI wrapped around the IE rendering and JavaScript engines. Microsoft does not allow a full replacement browser to be installed on Windows RT at present and this policy may not change if Microsoft do not want it too.

no that's wrong

MS doesn't forbids alternative browsers with non-IE rendering engine (as apple does with iOS)

on WP7 there was even Nokia Xpress, a web browser based on Gecko. Not sure if it is available for wp8 though.

the fact is, Mozilla could port Firefox to wp8 if they wanted to.

technically, the only limitation would be the inability to implement a JIT compiler. That would sure reduce performance in benchmarks, but it would be fine for real world web browsing. After all, Chrome for iOS uses a safari webview which doesn't support JIT (as opposite to the real Safari app), and some users still end up finding that Chrome feels faster than Safari, proof that for mobile web browsing, you can build a good enough browser even without JIT.

Order_66 said,
I originally felt this was just another nail in the coffin for windows 8.x however I don't think there's any room left for any more nails.

The whole platform is a failure because it can't run firefox? You've got to be kidding. Another nail in the coffin of rationality and objectivity more like it.

Studio384 said,

There is no suche thing as a "real WinRT port", because if they do so, it would just be a shell on top of Internet Explorer.

That's not true, they can write their gecko engine from win32 to winrt and MS doesn't care, the only limit is that they can't do their own JIT code, they have to use the built in WinJIT or w/e MS calls it. It's the same thing IE uses, but it doesn't sound like a drawback to me, IE's performance is on par with any version of FF and Chrome out there.

I guess this might imply the success of the uptake of Metro... sucks, as I'm a fan, but I can't blame Mozilla for following the numbers

It's prety much their own fault, Firefox Metro just doesn't work well, it's buggy, keeps crashing, forces you to change your default browser. And is developed realy slow. Not to mention the fact that they are now saying that they are going to shut down the project because a beta version of the browser isn't used enough by consumers....

That's too bad. I was hoping to see more competition for MS in that space. IE is pretty good, but I'm sure the Firefox team could have done something nice.

Maybe they decided they really needed to focus more on Firefox OS since its struggling to get off the ground. I can understand them seeing it more valuable tot hem to put more resources into that then to keep working on an app for MS.

Hopefully we see them come around in the future.

I've been using the Metro version to replace IE since it was available. It has worked fine and I prefer it. It is a shame they aren't fully releasing it.

torrentthief said,
I think mozilla realises that windows 9 will bring back the start menu and people won't bother with modern ui once that is out.

except that it won't.

and at least one SKU of windows 9 won't run win32 apps.

which is why Mozilla is canceling this project, as it was not a real winRT metro app, just a full screen win32 app with a fancy UI.

if Mozilla and google want to target all win9 users, they will have to build real WinRT-based browsers.

torrentthief said,
I think mozilla realises that windows 9 will bring back the start menu and people won't bother with modern ui once that is out.

Start Menu isn't coming back. It'll be more like a "Mini Start." (as it's referenced internally.

recursive said,
And they can't do that unless microsoft build proper API's for metro

for what?

there is nothing in Windows 8.0 preventing to port gecko or webkit and make a real web browser based on WinRT.

only JIT would be forbidden. (even chrome on iOS doesn't have JIT)

torrentthief said,
I think mozilla realises that windows 9 will bring back the start menu and people won't bother with modern ui once that is out.

Metro/Modern isn't going anywhere because the desktop on a tablet is painful to use and not ideal at all. However, having both is also beneficial for devices that serve two purposes. They're not mutually exclusive as you seem to incorrectly believe.

Dot Matrix said,

Start Menu isn't coming back. It'll be more like a "Mini Start." (as it's referenced internally.

Doesn't really matter what name it has internally. It's a start menu, and it's coming back in an updated form.

benthebear said,

Doesn't really matter what name it has internally. It's a start menu, and it's coming back in an updated form.

Why do people think metro is just the start screen? Just because a form of a start menu comes back as an option on non-touch desktops doesn't mean "metro" is gone. Look at 8.1 update 1. metro is just as much a part of the desktop now, and will be so even more in 9 I bet. Anything that has something to do with the Windows Store is "metro". Don't be surprised if in 9 they update the taskbar to support live tiles and if the new "menu" is a tweaked form of the start screen + charms bar in a smaller package with the same ability to pin tiles and have them work fully.

benthebear said,

Doesn't really matter what name it has internally. It's a start menu, and it's coming back in an updated form.

With a nick name like "Mini Start," I highly doubt it will be a menu in any traditional sense of the word. There is nothing even remotely worth saving from the old Start Menu. Nested folders and endless sub folders are a horrible way to lay out an application launcher.

Dot Matrix said,

With a nick name like "Mini Start," I highly doubt it will be a menu in any traditional sense of the word. There is nothing even remotely worth saving from the old Start Menu. Nested folders and endless sub folders are a horrible way to lay out an application launcher.

and soooo much better than Metro.

Dot Matrix said,

With a nick name like "Mini Start," I highly doubt it will be a menu in any traditional sense of the word. There is nothing even remotely worth saving from the old Start Menu. Nested folders and endless sub folders are a horrible way to lay out an application launcher.

And yet the vast majority of users prefer the start menu over metro.

If MS is cutting the modern ui out of 9 there is no point in developing it. Hopefully they were informed about that.

Where have you heard such nonsense? There's absolutely no way Microsoft is completely gutting Modern UI. It simply isn't happening.

fLk said,
If MS is cutting the modern ui out of 9 there is no point in developing it. Hopefully they were informed about that.

Windows.Next will still feature the Metro UI. It's not going anywhere. Joe Bielfore (sp?) has even said so himself.

fLk said,
If MS is cutting the modern ui out of 9 there is no point in developing it. Hopefully they were informed about that.

metro isn't going anywhere.
it's probably going to have less focus for windows 9, but it's not going away.

fLk said,
If MS is cutting the modern ui out of 9 there is no point in developing it. Hopefully they were informed about that.

actually it's the opposite.

the mainstream SKU of Windows 9 will no longer support win32 apps.
http://www.zdnet.com/six-click...dows-9_p5-7000027318/#photo

think of Windows RT for x86/x64.

actually it makes sense that Mozilla stops working on this project, because it was not a real app, just a win32 app with special rights that is displayed inside the ModernUI.

they need to write a real WinRT app if they want to be compatible with the WinRT SKU of Windows 9.

so yes, Microsoft probably has informed Mozilla of something. But it's the opposite of what you were thinking.

link8506 said,

the mainstream SKU of Windows 9 will no longer support win32 apps.
http://www.zdnet.com/six-click...dows-9_p5-7000027318/#photo

Hmmmm... three version of Windows 9... but only two that run traditional Windows programs.

Count me in the for traditional/PC SKU of Windows 9 when it comes out.

I'm still on Windows 7 at the moment. So, obviously, all my programs are traditional desktop applications. And I'm not looking to replace them with Metro "apps" even if they existed.

I'm glad Microsoft will still be supporting those of us who do actual work on their PCs.

But I'm actually kinda shocked that Microsoft will make a version of Windows that won't run all your Windows programs though. At least Windows 8 lets you run both Metro apps *and* traditional desktop software.

Let's hope someone doesn't get the wrong version of Windows 9 and discovers they can't use *any* traditional software.

Michael Scrip said,

Hmmmm... three version of Windows 9... but only two that run traditional Windows programs.

Count me in the for traditional/PC SKU of Windows 9 when it comes out.

I'm still on Windows 7 at the moment. So, obviously, all my programs are traditional desktop applications. And I'm not looking to replace them with Metro "apps" even if they existed.

I'm glad Microsoft will still be supporting those of us who do actual work on their PCs.

But I'm actually kinda shocked that Microsoft will make a version of Windows that won't run all your Windows programs though. At least Windows 8 lets you run both Metro apps *and* traditional desktop software.

Let's hope someone doesn't get the wrong version of Windows 9 and discovers they can't use *any* traditional software.

maybe they will offer the WinRT-only SKU for free to OEMs.

then the user may upgrade to one of the other SKU compatible with both WinRT and Win32 if he feels the need.

technically that is entirely possible, at least for the x86 WinRT-only SKU (not the arm version).

link8506 said,

maybe they will offer the WinRT-only SKU for free to OEMs.

then the user may upgrade to one of the other SKU compatible with both WinRT and Win32 if he feels the need.

technically that is entirely possible, at least for the x86 WinRT-only SKU (not the arm version).

Yeah... that would be cool.

Perhaps the Metro-only SKU will only be on tablets.

I'd hate for someone to buy what looks like a laptop... but that won't run traditional Windows programs.

link8506 said,
the mainstream SKU of Windows 9 will no longer support win32 apps.
http://www.zdnet.com/six-click...dows-9_p5-7000027318/#photo

think of Windows RT for x86/x64.


I think you are reading into this a bit much at this point. Given that current information, it would be safe to assume that the SKU is probably is similar to the current WinRT SKUs. Whether it is for x86/x64 remains to be seen, and if it is it will most likely be a tablet thing and not something you see loaded on convertibles. At this point there isn't enough information to conclude anything.

snaphat (Myles Landwehr) said,

I think you are reading into this a bit much at this point. Given that current information, it would be safe to assume that the SKU is probably is similar to the current WinRT SKUs. Whether it is for x86/x64 remains to be seen, and if it is it will most likely be a tablet thing and not something you see loaded on convertibles. At this point there isn't enough information to conclude anything.

killing win32 (unsandboxed apps) on Windows and promoting WinRT instead is the only way to stop people from getting infected by toolbars/malwares from random software they download on the web. A Microsoft employee told me at the build two years ago that within 4 year people would no longer need win32 compatibility.

if people buy chromebooks because they want a trouble-free web browsing experience, then they would be better served with Windows RT 9, whether it runs on ARM or x86.

link8506 said,
killing win32 (unsandboxed apps) on Windows and promoting WinRT instead is the only way to stop people from getting infected by toolbars/malwares from random software they download on the web.

That's just shifting the attack vector elsewhere. It doesn't fix the issue of malware. If it did then android/ios would be malware free.

link8506 said,
A Microsoft employee told me at the build two years ago that within 4 year people would no longer need win32 compatibility.

Microsoft employees say a lot of things at events (as does everyone else). Shoot at SuperComputing, if MS had their way, everyone would be using Azure. Such things should be taken with a grain of salt.

Years ago, at a presentation, we had a Sun employee say that people shouldn't be worried about incompatibility of ZFS and dtrace in mixed system environments because everyone else was just behind and would catch-up. The guy who asked the question (our sys-admin) laughed heartily, got up, and walked out.

In any case, I'd find it rather hard to believe that the people in charge ever thought that was a real-world time frame given that MS has had the hardest time even getting people to move from XP. Shifting a two decades of entrenchment in win32 would certainly take longer than that.

link8506 said,

if people buy chromebooks because they want a trouble-free web browsing experience, then they would be better served with Windows RT 9, whether it runs on ARM or x86

People don't really buy chromebooks. The reports that were showing otherwise late last year don't match real world usage statistics. For example, NetMarketShare doesn't even list the OS because it accounts for less than 1% of traffic.

snaphat (Myles Landwehr) said,

That's just shifting the attack vector elsewhere. It doesn't fix the issue of malware. If it did then android/ios would be malware free.

I'm not talking about 0day exploits.
I'm talking about the average malware which wreaks havoc on a PC/mac because there is absolutely nothing preventing it to do so.

forcing apps to run in an isolated container will definitely fix the issue of malware for most people.

malwares spreading through 0day flaws are less and less common on modern platforms thanks to modern memory protections and sandboxing.

of course on an OS like chrome OS, malware developers will target users with malicious extensions. But Microsoft has been wise enough to not include extension support in IE Metro.

which makes WindowsRT not vulnerable to malwares, as long as there is no 0day flaw being exploited of course!

Microsoft employees say a lot of things at events (as does everyone else). Shoot at SuperComputing, if MS had their way, everyone would be using Azure. Such things should be taken with a grain of salt.

yeah I though he was very optimistic on the time frame.

but it has to happen anyway. Actually it already happened with Windows RT. Now MS just has to make sure the WinRT apps offering becomes even more attractive so that OEMs consider shipping WindowsRT-like x86 laptops.


People don't really buy chromebooks. The reports that were showing otherwise late last year don't match real world usage statistics. For example, NetMarketShare doesn't even list the OS because it accounts for less than 1% of traffic.

yeah the numbers provided by google are bullsh*t If people buy chromebooks, it looks like they don't actually use them.

but Windows RT tablets already have pretty much everything the average user need: office, flash player, local printer/scan support (no cloud bullsh*t!) support for USB drives, ...
most people I know would be perfectly happy with Windows RT on a laptop, if that means saying goodbye to malwares.

link8506 said,

I'm not talking about 0day exploits.
I'm talking about the average malware which wreaks havoc on a PC/mac because there is absolutely nothing preventing it to do so.

forcing apps to run in an isolated container will definitely fix the issue of malware for most people.

malwares spreading through 0day flaws are less and less common on modern platforms thanks to modern memory protections and sandboxing.

of course on an OS like chrome OS, malware developers will target users with malicious extensions. But Microsoft has been wise enough to not include extension support in IE Metro.

which makes WindowsRT not vulnerable to malwares, as long as there is no 0day flaw being exploited of course!


I'm not in general talking about 0day exploits -- just malware that is installed through the official channels. You are really over-selling this sandbox thing. In practice, no sandbox has ever been fool proof and there have been many-many implementations up to this point. What makes you think RT is any different? What would happen if for example, RT had the entire consumer base using it? I would imagine it would be a lot like android: malware, all over the place, being distributed through official generals. Any reason to think it would be different?

Moreover, this discussion misses, arguably, the most important type of malware you see on centralized walled-garden platforms: those that trick the user into giving them permissions to do things. You don't need to exploit anything in order to steal a users information (contact information, ...) or worse (identity theft, ransomware, fraudulent charges, remote access). These tend to be the types of malware that you see in walled garden platforms and sandboxing doesn't do much of anything to protect against them. Why? because you social engineering can't be fixed with architecture.

The point is really that sandboxing isn't going to eliminate malware regardless of how you slice it.

link8506 said,

yeah I though he was very optimistic on the time frame.

but it has to happen anyway. Actually it already happened with Windows RT. Now MS just has to make sure the WinRT apps offering becomes even more attractive so that OEMs consider shipping WindowsRT-like x86 laptops.


I don't follow what you are saying here. It hasn't happened... Win8 has roughly ~10% of the market and WinRT has been nothing if not controversial so what makes you think that of the those using Win8 that a significant portion are primarily using RT? If anything, MS's newest update (8.1.1) shows MS's renewed interest is appeasing Win32 users.

And, it's really more complicated than what you are saying. OEMs are only going to ship WinRT-only devices if the market wants them and what makes you think the market wants them? For example, with Win8, the RT devices never sold well. What makes Win9 different in that regard? Why would a user want to trade something more versatile for something less versatile -- especially in a laptop form-factor? The only incentive I can see is the cost and it doesn't work out on the current generation.

link8506 said,

yeah the numbers provided by google are bullsh*t If people buy chromebooks, it looks like they don't actually use them.

but Windows RT tablets already have pretty much everything the average user need: office, flash player, local printer/scan support (no cloud bullsh*t!) support for USB drives, ...
most people I know would be perfectly happy with Windows RT on a laptop, if that means saying goodbye to malwares.


If you say so -- I think the average user would be less enthusiastic. A nice example is itunes. If you only use a computer once in the bluemoon sure, but most people have certain native applications they do use and it gets considerably more complicated when the computer needs to interface with external devices. As far as that malware discussion goes, unless MS markets WinRT has malware free (which wouldn't even be true) that's not really an incentive to buy such a device.

snaphat (Myles Landwehr) said,

I'm not in general talking about 0day exploits -- just malware that is installed through the official channels. You are really over-selling this sandbox thing. In practice, no sandbox has ever been fool proof and there have been many-many implementations up to this point.

well, how many *dangerous* malwares did you see on iOS, WP7/8, and Windows RT so far?

android's problem is that it allows things such as SMS access, full sd card access which leads to the ability for a malicious developer to do "interesting" things (send text messages to premium services, or read data from other apps on the SD card).

but as bad as android is, its sandbox still does its job: malicious apps on a fully patched devices can't infect the whole OS, and can't access other app's isolated storage. That's still much safer than letting an app access your whole user account (or whole machine if ran as root) on windows/osx/linux


What makes you think RT is any different? What would happen if for example, RT had the entire consumer base using it? I would imagine it would be a lot like android: malware, all over the place, being distributed through official generals. Any reason to think it would be different?

MS doesn't let apps access things that are too sensitive.

a malicious dev can't read your text messages on WP because MS doesn't provide an API for that.

likewise, MS doesn't let individual developers access to documents folders in their app.



Moreover, this discussion misses, arguably, the most important type of malware you see on centralized walled-garden platforms: those that trick the user into giving them permissions to do things. You don't need to exploit anything in order to steal a users information (contact information, ...) or worse (identity theft, ransomware, fraudulent charges, remote access). These tend to be the types of malware that you see in walled garden platforms and sandboxing doesn't do much of anything to protect against them. Why? because you social engineering can't be fixed with architecture.

I think Microsoft has considered the problem.

for example, WP doesn't provide an API for apps to access contact without UI interaction.
on iOS, app can access contacts, which has been a source of privacy issues.

lack of background services is also preventing apps from doing nasty stuff permanently (such as listening you when you're running other apps).



The point is really that sandboxing isn't going to eliminate malware regardless of how you slice it.

it's going to eliminate system/user profile malwares. That's already a huge leap forward.

of course it can't prevent you from giving an app access to a personal file using the file picker. Social engineering can still exist.


I don't follow what you are saying here. It hasn't happened... Win8 has roughly ~10% of the market and WinRT has been nothing if not controversial so what makes you think that of the those using Win8 that a significant portion are primarily using RT? If anything, MS's newest update (8.1.1) shows MS's renewed interest is appeasing Win32 users.

by saying that it happened, I'm saying that MS has already an OS that is not compatible with win32 apps. I'm not saying it was successful. But it opens the path for a future without win32 compatibility, for home users of course! And it won't be limited to ARM platform.

win32 support on pro/enterprise SKUs will still be there for a long time, of course.


And, it's really more complicated than what you are saying. OEMs are only going to ship WinRT-only devices if the market wants them and what makes you think the market wants them? For example, with Win8, the RT devices never sold well. What makes Win9 different in that regard? Why would a user want to trade something more versatile for something less versatile -- especially in a laptop form-factor? The only incentive I can see is the cost and it doesn't work out on the current generation.

I would definitely recommend a Windows RT laptop to many of my friends and customers that I know no longer NEED any win32 app, because they often get infected while trying new win32 apps they don't REALLY need (fish screensaver, fake flash player updates, ...)


If you say so -- I think the average user would be less enthusiastic. A nice example is itunes. If you only use a computer once in the bluemoon sure, but most people have certain native applications they do use and it gets considerably more complicated when the computer needs to interface with external devices. As far as that malware discussion goes, unless MS markets WinRT has malware free (which wouldn't even be true) that's not really an incentive to buy such a device.

Unfortunately MS can't say Windows RT is safer than Windows, because that would be used by its competitors to hurt Windows sales.

but facts are there. Windows RT is an user-proof platform (well, as much as it can be!).

but I think a lot of people are looking for something like Windows RT. Problem is they don't know it already exist. And they won't find it on classic form factors such as 13" laptops (yet).

I think with Windows 9 Microsoft may start selling a WinRT-only SKU on x86 as a low end cheap or free OS for laptops and tablets.

the interesting thing compared to Windows RT on ARM is that Microsoft could allow to upgrade Windows to a PRO SKU that supports both win32 and WinRT if the user decide that he actually NEEDS compatibility with classic windows applications!

that's definitely the kind of thing that could help users to give a try to a Windows PC that can only run WinRT apps.

link8506 said,

well, how many *dangerous* malwares did you see on iOS, WP7/8, and Windows RT so far?

android's problem is that it allows things such as SMS access, full sd card access which leads to the ability for a malicious developer to do "interesting" things (send text messages to premium services, or read data from other apps on the SD card).

but as bad as android is, its sandbox still does its job: malicious apps on a fully patched devices can't infect the whole OS, and can't access other app's isolated storage. That's still much safer than letting an app access your whole user account (or whole machine if ran as root) on windows/osx/linux


RT and WP7/8 have almost no market share so no-one really targets them (I didn't bother to verify whether the malware thing is strictly true or not, given the circumstances, it's not really relevant). iOS has a smaller market share than Android (on the mobile phone market -- though browser usage is much higher because they dominate tablets), but there is still malware targeting it.

The main problem Android is just that it has the largest attack vector due to the install base. I don't really see cutting off usability has a good argument for increased vulnerability (I discuss this more below). A lot of what has happened resembles Windows own predicament. Increasing attack vectors always yield increases in malware. Another differentiation from iOS is that Apple is more strict about what gets in the store currently, but I would imagine that would play out differently if Apple held the majority of the market share.

Regarding whether it is safer to have a sandbox or not, that's really neither here nor there. If the malware that is being distributed is stealing your information, lead to identity theft, allowing remote access, or getting fraudulent charges, it doesn't really matter if it is done via a traditional exploit or not: it's already done it's job. The only important functionality that is missing is persistent if you discover it or the ability to serve you ads. But, let's be honest, does it really matter at that point? It's already done the damage you care about. At the end of the day, people care about malware because it leads to real-world damage, not because it is difficult to get off of their system.

link8506 said,

MS doesn't let apps access things that are too sensitive.

a malicious dev can't read your text messages on WP because MS doesn't provide an API for that.

likewise, MS doesn't let individual developers access to documents folders in their app.

I think Microsoft has considered the problem.

for example, WP doesn't provide an API for apps to access contact without UI interaction.
on iOS, app can access contacts, which has been a source of privacy issues.

lack of background services is also preventing apps from doing nasty stuff permanently (such as listening you when you're running other apps).


If these things you are saying are true for WP8: then the platform is fairly limited in usability. Frankly, I'm surprised to hear that it is not possible to have background services, access text messages, documents, or contacts programmatically. Very odd. Not particularly a good design choice to be honest... it's sort of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Makes me wonder what other limitations there are. Security is one thing, but security at the expense of usability is another.

Also, as far as I'm aware, none of those things (outside of SMS,which doesn't exist) are true in RT: background tasks exist, and contacts and documents have to be accessible since MS does it in their own apps. So unless MS planned to hack away at those things, I don't see it happening for the RT platform.

link8506 said,

by saying that it happened, I'm saying that MS has already an OS that is not compatible with win32 apps. I'm not saying it was successful. But it opens the path for a future without win32 compatibility, for home users of course! And it won't be limited to ARM platform.

Of course they did, mobile x86 chips weren't far enough along when they started Win8 so they dropped to ARM which couldn't possibly have x86 compatibility.

You are getting ahead of yourself here: the only announcement we've seen is vague about what platforms the particular SKUs will be available for, whether any x86 compatible ones will lack win32 support, and whether the stripped down SKU will even be available for x86. Certainly is up in the air at this point, but I'd personally rather doubt that even if they do distribute a stripped down SKU for x86 that it will be devoid of win32 support -- it just seems as if that would be a lousy business decision on the part of MS given the current failure of WinRT to take off. Sure, it's a different story if you've got the market-share, but they simply don't yet.

snaphat (Myles Landwehr) said,

RT and WP7/8 have almost no market share so no-one really targets them (I didn't bother to verify whether the malware thing is strictly true or not, given the circumstances, it's not really relevant).

with close to 10% of market share on smartphone there would already be a lot of Proof of Concept if malwares were easy to create on WP8.

So far I heard of only 1 PoC targeting WP8, but as I said, it was using a security flaw (which has been fixed).

so, there are still no malwares relying purely on platform features.


iOS has a smaller market share than Android (on the mobile phone market -- though browser usage is much higher because they dominate tablets), but there is still malware targeting it.

give me 1 example of iOS/WindowsRT/WP malware stealing user's data from other apps (banking apps, passwords typed into the web browser, ...) using platform features allowed in the sandbox.


The main problem Android is just that it has the largest attack vector due to the install base.

no. If android was not allowing things like background services, SMS access, and shared storage, there would be far less possibilities of developing malware.

but even in the situation as it is, android malwares can't read your emails, your browser passwords, your email settings (especially the password). So as bad as it is, Android still offers some protection to the end user. Its sandbox is not broken, it's just too permissive.


Regarding whether it is safer to have a sandbox or not, that's really neither here nor there. If the malware that is being distributed is stealing your information, lead to identity theft, allowing remote access, or getting fraudulent charges, it doesn't really matter if it is done via a traditional exploit or not: it's already done it's job. The only important functionality that is missing is persistent if you discover it or the ability to serve you ads. But, let's be honest, does it really matter at that point? It's already done the damage you care about. At the end of the day, people care about malware because it leads to real-world damage, not because it is difficult to get off of their system.

that's true, and that's why malwares running as limited user in windows/osx/linux are as bad as malwares running as root.

And the whole point of sandboxes is to prevent malicious app from accessing data they should not have access to.

on a sandboxed environment, a malicious app won't be able to read your keystrokes while you use another app, nor to to read the data stored in this app's isolated storage.

that means no password stealing, no money stealing, no privacy break (as long as the apps are properly coded and don't store personal data on android's shared storage)

on WinRT an app can't even turn on the microphone, camera, or GPS without asking the user first (the OS displays a message that can't be bypassed by the application).


If these things you are saying are true for WP8: then the platform is fairly limited in usability. Frankly, I'm surprised to hear that it is not possible to have background services, access text messages, documents, or contacts programmatically. Very odd. Not particularly a good design choice to be honest... it's sort of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

yes WP8 is fairly limited compared to android in term if things a developer can do.
and likewise, android is also fairly limited if you compare it to what you could do on Windows Mobile 6.

on Windows Mobile 6 I have developed an app (not malicious!) allowing remote access to the device (full FS access + screen control). You can't do that on android/wp8/ios, and that's actually a good thing!

in the end, allowing less things and providing a safer experience to the end user turns out to be a better design decision.


Also, as far as I'm aware, none of those things (outside of SMS,which doesn't exist) are true in RT: background tasks exist, and contacts and documents have to be accessible since MS does it in their own apps. So unless MS planned to hack away at those things, I don't see it happening for the RT platform.

no, background processes are very limited in WindowsRT, you can't run code permanently and you can only invoke specific APIs. There is no ability to spy on the user using his microphone using background processes for example, as opposite to android.

document access is also limited. Only enterprise verified developer accounts can do it in their apps.

and contact access is allowed only through the Windows contact picker. No way for a malware to access contacts without the user knowing it. Same on WP.


You are getting ahead of yourself here: the only announcement we've seen is vague about what platforms the particular SKUs will be available for, whether any x86 compatible ones will lack win32 support, and whether the stripped down SKU will even be available for x86. Certainly is up in the air at this point, but I'd personally rather doubt that even if they do distribute a stripped down SKU for x86 that it will be devoid of win32 support -- it just seems as if that would be a lousy business decision on the part of MS given the current failure of WinRT to take off. Sure, it's a different story if you've got the market-share, but they simply don't yet.

once they show they are deadly serious about moving to a WinRT-only model for low end machines (x86 or arm), developers will have to follow.

and since Win9 may allow windowed WinRT apps on the desktop, WinRT apps will be more popular than they were on Win8.

link8506 said,

give me 1 example of iOS/WindowsRT/WP malware stealing user's data from other apps (banking apps, passwords typed into the web browser, ...) using platform features allowed in the sandbox.

Why are you being randomly specific? Malware that gets into the store can steal data with the right permissions without accessing other apps:
http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg...re-warning-app-steals-phone

In any case, if you are trying to build a dichotomy: what android malware posing as an app is able to access banking app passwords and what you type from other applications on a non-jail broken phone? If you are running a jail broken phone, key loggers exist for both android and ios.

link8506 said,

no. If android was not allowing things like background services, SMS access, and shared storage, there would be far less possibilities of developing malware.

1) Android doesn't allow you to random access of misc. shared data between applications either unless the creator app specifically sets permissions to do so. Or to say that another way: Shared storage access is not a free-for-all in Android though you seem to want to indicate that it is.
2) Background services exist on iOS also and can simply be simulated by rescheduling on cleanup if you want to make the application less suspicious (it takes less permissions to do the latter).
3) For SMS, what happens if you want to use a 3rd party messaging app? That's fine if you want lock down access and deny the possibility for other apps, but it's an issue of security at the cost of usability.

link8506 said,

yes WP8 is fairly limited compared to android in term if things a developer can do.
and likewise, android is also fairly limited if you compare it to what you could do on Windows Mobile 6.

on Windows Mobile 6 I have developed an app (not malicious!) allowing remote access to the device (full FS access + screen control). You can't do that on android/wp8/ios, and that's actually a good thing!

in the end, allowing less things and providing a safer experience to the end user turns out to be a better design decision.


There's always a medium that is best. Cutting off everything is not really a solution.

link8506 said,

no, background processes are very limited in WindowsRT, you can't run code permanently and you can only invoke specific APIs. There is no ability to spy on the user using his microphone using background processes for example, as opposite to android.

In Android, you can't do this sort of thing with background services either. You would have to start a foreground service (which has indicators that can't be dismissed). However, in iOS you can do this (not sure if there are indicators or not). iOS is more strict on services so they probably worry about it less.

Here's a question for you: how do you make an application that ask for audio-input in a multitasking environment if you can't implement a service of any kind to do it? An example is something that ask for input while you are in the car and also playing music using your phone. From what you are telling me: it is simply impossible in RT and WP8. Which get's back to my point of it being a medium between usability and security.

link8506 said,

document access is also limited. Only enterprise verified developer accounts can do it in their apps.

and contact access is allowed only through the Windows contact picker. No way for a malware to access contacts without the user knowing it. Same on WP.


So again it's an issue of usability vs security. You can make the most locked down environment possible that restricts a user to being able to do almost anything on their own machines, but is that a good solution? There's a reason that Android and iOS don't have silly restrictions like these. As a developer these things tell me all I need to know: I can't make any class of application that needs access to contacts, I can't make any class of application that needs access to documents. Honestly given the latter, how do I make even basic applications that work with files? If what you are saying is true, it's no wonder these platforms haven't taken off.

link8506 said,

once they show they are deadly serious about moving to a WinRT-only model for low end machines (x86 or arm), developers will have to follow.

You are putting the cart before the horse. Exactly what incentive here would there be for the developers to jump to the platform just because MS decided to move to WinRT-only (regardless of whether we are talking about low-end machines or not). If the users aren't there and they aren't buying into the platform then developers aren't going to flock to the platform either. Developers go where the users are, not the other way around; or because someone tries to strong-arm them into it.

Absolutely pathetic. At least VLC shipped a half-assed app after they spent nearly 2 years dicking around. Firefox couldn't even do that.

Wapoz said,
Absolutely pathetic. At least VLC shipped a half-assed app after they spent nearly 2 years dicking around. Firefox couldn't even do that.

I think the work the VLC team is doing is way harder than writing a browser in WinRT from the start. All the media formats and codecs that the VLC guys have to port from Win32 to WinRT is no small task. Sure it's taking forever but like you said, they've finally released a beta. I wouldn't exactly say they were dicking around though.

George P said,

I think the work the VLC team is doing is way harder than writing a browser in WinRT from the start. All the media formats and codecs that the VLC guys have to port from Win32 to WinRT is no small task. Sure it's taking forever but like you said, they've finally released a beta. I wouldn't exactly say they were dicking around though.


People are just butthurt because they confuse contributing to a Kickstarter with buying a product.

George P said,

I think the work the VLC team is doing is way harder than writing a browser in WinRT from the start. All the media formats and codecs that the VLC guys have to port from Win32 to WinRT is no small task. Sure it's taking forever but like you said, they've finally released a beta. I wouldn't exactly say they were dicking around though.

Mobile.HD player plays just about every media format available and has been available on windows RT for nearly 2 years, so its not as hard as you think it is.

Joshie said,

People are just butthurt because they confuse contributing to a Kickstarter with buying a product.

And what does that have to do with what I said, or are you just trying to be an internet hipster?

Wapoz said,

And what does that have to do with what I said, or are you just trying to be an internet hipster?


99% of the VLC angst brings up their Kickstarter campaign. The loudest voices of outrage are literally behaving as if making a contribution contractually obligated VLC to deliver everything they promised within a particular window of time. The reality is that projects on Kickstarter run the very real risk of failure or delay, and if that happens, nobody is 'owed' anything because no purchase was made.

Now, unless there's something else fueling your attitude of looking down your nose at a team you have nothing to do with, then yeah. Butt hurt.

Joshie said,

99% of the VLC angst brings up their Kickstarter campaign. The loudest voices of outrage are literally behaving as if making a contribution contractually obligated VLC to deliver everything they promised within a particular window of time. The reality is that projects on Kickstarter run the very real risk of failure or delay, and if that happens, nobody is 'owed' anything because no purchase was made.

Now, unless there's something else fueling your attitude of looking down your nose at a team you have nothing to do with, then yeah. Butt hurt.

And where did I mention the kick starter? You seem to be the only one bringing it up here, so both of your comments have little to do with the criticisms I stated about VLC. Where did I even mention about being "owed" anything? Are you replying to the wrong person in this comment section, or are you making some sad attempt at trolling?

I'm not sure if you're a FOSS zealot angered by someone saying something negative about VLC, or you if you just lack basic reading comprehension. Either way you're the only one looking butt hurt here.

Oh yes please tell me about the VLC app that crashes every time. Seriously no one wants to use this POS interface that is Windows 8...if they did they wouldn't be shoving desktop stuff back into it.

Who gives a damn about the bloated and most expensive in recources VLC. If only you knew that there are much better players like MPC-HC and PotPlayer... Forget about Metro Apps -it's an other Vista-Fiasco.

BlueScreenOfDeath said,
Oh yes please tell me about the VLC app that crashes every time. Seriously no one wants to use this POS interface that is Windows 8...if they did they wouldn't be shoving desktop stuff back into it.

The UI changes for mouse users is one thing and the winrt framework and APIs that make up store apps. On my tablet I want to use touch friendly apps and not the desktop.

Raylan Givens said,
Who gives a damn about the bloated and most expensive in recources VLC. If only you knew that there are much better players like MPC-HC and PotPlayer... Forget about Metro Apps -it's an other Vista-Fiasco.

I use MPC-HC but that's on the desktop, having to use it on my tablet for subtitles is a pain because it's not touch friendly, it's meant for a KB or mouse user. They don't make up 100% of the user group anymore.

Wapoz said,

And where did I mention the kick starter? You seem to be the only one bringing it up here, so both of your comments have little to do with the criticisms I stated about VLC. Where did I even mention about being "owed" anything? Are you replying to the wrong person in this comment section, or are you making some sad attempt at trolling?

I'm not sure if you're a FOSS zealot angered by someone saying something negative about VLC, or you if you just lack basic reading comprehension. Either way you're the only one looking butt hurt here.


Do tell what past event you were using as time marker when you made your initial "nearly 2 years dicking around" comment, then.

Any sane person would interpret that as referring to when they announced they would start working on the port, which was--dear heaven and facts save us all--their Kickstarter campaign.

Though I look forward to being entertained by whatever other event your imagination comes up with instead. Then again, I asked for you to offer some other reason for your irritation in my last post and you ignored it then, too, so you'll probably just side-step it again.

Joshie said,

Do tell what past event you were using as time marker when you made your initial "nearly 2 years dicking around" comment, then.

Any sane person would interpret that as referring to when they announced they would start working on the port, which was--dear heaven and facts save us all--their Kickstarter campaign.

Though I look forward to being entertained by whatever other event your imagination comes up with instead. Then again, I asked for you to offer some other reason for your irritation in my last post and you ignored it then, too, so you'll probably just side-step it again.

You really are a butthurt open source zealot aren't you? Not only are you that, but you're an idiot on top of that, who can't even properly read a comment. I really shouldn't take the effort to explain it to you, but I'll be kind enough to break it down for your simple freetard mind.

I said: "At least VLC shipped a half-assed app after they spent nearly 2 years dicking around. Firefox couldn't even do that." - no mention of the kickstarter, or being "owed" anything, or any of the other idiotic things you keep replying to me about.

Now, since you're obviously too thickheaded to comprehend that sentence yourself, what I said in terms that an dullard such as yourself would understand was:

"At least VLC put something out (even though its unstable and lacks features) despite taking a long time, unlike firefox"

Of course, an idiot like you only saw "RAWR RAWR KICKSTARTER RAWR!! SOMEONES OFFENDING OPENSOURCE!!!"

Now, is that better for you?

Wapoz said,
Absolutely pathetic. At least VLC shipped a half-assed app after they spent nearly 2 years dicking around. Firefox couldn't even do that.
They actually released their Windows 8 version within 6 months of working on it. And they released their beta version last month. It doesn't look half-assed to me, and I've run into very few bugs using it. Have you even tried using it yet? Because the beta version is out and ready for download lol.

Mozilla is done, Google had a ModernUI version of Chrome soon after Windows 8 first came out, even though they bad mouthed it. Firefox OS looks to be a lame duck too.

Google didn't exactly have a Modern version. It was the exact same Chrome running inside the Modern UI with zero changes to UI or anything else, so it was completely useless for touch. It's the most lazy pathetic attempt.

Atleast Mozilla actually made an effort.

NoClipMode said,
Google didn't exactly have a Modern version. It was the exact same Chrome running inside the Modern UI with zero changes to UI or anything else, so it was completely useless for touch. It's the most lazy pathetic attempt.

And yet Mozilla couldn't even achieve that.

theyarecomingforyou said,

And yet Mozilla couldn't even achieve that.


I think it is more that Mozilla never planned to do that. If that had chosen to do a development effort that was just a direct port of the desktop version they could have done it far more rapidly than this

theyarecomingforyou said,

And yet Mozilla couldn't even achieve that.

Because they had the basic common sense to realise that putting the exact same desktop version inside the Modern UI is pointless and defeats the purpose of it.

snaphat (Myles Landwehr) said,

I think it is more that Mozilla never planned to do that. If that had chosen to do a development effort that was just a direct port of the desktop version they could have done it far more rapidly than this

Right now with so much competition whilst Win8 is a Vista-fiasco, they don't need to speend as much recources on this. They have so many other things to focus on their dekstop version. As I said above, even Opera around 24-25 stable version is going to be the best browser. They have Chromium, Windows Native UI and just let 'em refine all other small things.

Just wait and remember my words about Opera. Forget Windows 8. One small company releases a junk application and MS-affiliated sites are forced to write articles about completely indiferent matter.

Further proof Mozilla can't do #### anymore. Firefox is complacent and stale, and it's sad to see them not give a damn. But, hey, you keep on supporting that Windows XP!

More users are using the "desktop" version. Have you ever ran a development department? I haven't, in full disclosure, but I have friends who have and/or do and you have to put your resources where the majority of your users are.

If Windows 8 ever takes off, which it most likely will, one day, or if Microsoft fixes the issues people have with Modern UI, Mozilla will likely return to developing for it, but right now, it isn't a good enough ROI.

Hurmoth said,
More users are using the "desktop" version.

Of a similar mind myself. Given the choice, I personally would use the standard version of an application every time. (Even on my tablets.) They have a relatively limited number of people working on the thing versus MS and Google, would rather they focus on where the demand is actually at (which includes more OS's than just 8.x) instead of getting bogged down with a side project.

Dot Matrix said,
Further proof Mozilla can't do #### anymore. Firefox is complacent and stale, and it's sad to see them not give a damn. But, hey, you keep on supporting that Windows XP!

Since when Win8 metro only? And FF support way more than XP and is far from stale. More will use the desktop version anyway so who cares. And I'd rather them not release it if there are no testers and proper testing. Imagine the comments if they released a buggy version with nothing but problems

Hurmoth said,
More users are using the "desktop" version. Have you ever ran a development department? I haven't, in full disclosure, but I have friends who have and/or do and you have to put your resources where the majority of your users are.

If Windows 8 ever takes off, which it most likely will, one day, or if Microsoft fixes the issues people have with Modern UI, Mozilla will likely return to developing for it, but right now, it isn't a good enough ROI.

Even Google ships a half assed version for Windows 8. The fact they took the time to actually develop a better bowser would have only led to better things. More competition is good for the users.

Google also has 55+% of the browsing market. They are also a mega corporation compared to Mozilla. They can afford to take risks.

CJEric said,

How is this not giving a damn: "significant investment and low impact." ?

Guess that means they should can Firefox OS, too... Since no one uses that either.

Dot Matrix said,
Further proof Mozilla can't do #### anymore. Firefox is complacent and stale, and it's sad to see them not give a damn. But, hey, you keep on supporting that Windows XP!

No, it's further proof that Metro has been a failure on the desktop.

theyarecomingforyou said,
No, it's further proof that Metro has been a failure on the desktop.

More like it's further proof that Mozilla doesn't have an infinite number of people to work on a project like Microsoft or Google.

Dot Matrix said,

Guess that means they should can Firefox OS, too... Since no one uses that either.


Yeah lol. Not to mention FF OS is even uglier than blackberry.

Dot Matrix said,
Further proof Mozilla can't do #### anymore. Firefox is complacent and stale, and it's sad to see them not give a damn. But, hey, you keep on supporting that Windows XP!

Far more people still use XP and 7, of course they are going to concentrate their efforts on something people are actually using instead of wasting time on failures.

Hurmoth said,

If Windows 8 ever takes off, which it most likely will, one day, or if Microsoft fixes the issues people have with Modern UI, Mozilla will likely return to developing for it, but right now, it isn't a good enough ROI.

That's fair. I'd argue the real problem is it can't run on Windows RT. Its actually rather nice, and I'm one the few people using/trying it in that fashion. Its way better than Chrome for the environment.

Crimson Rain said,

That says ~50% web devs use chrome. so your point...?

Where does it state that's devs only? I'm not seeing that (using a mobile phone, so I won't lie, I could just be missing it).

Dot Matrix said,
Further proof Mozilla can't do #### anymore. Firefox is complacent and stale, and it's sad to see them not give a damn. But, hey, you keep on supporting that Windows XP!

So my take is that you're not happy because Firefox are "complacent and stale", but it's stated in the article that they're putting it on hold because of lack of interest. Compared with big a conglomerate like Google, Mozilla don't have the resources to put together the kind of testing that they need, and let's be honest, Google didn't make a "Metro version of Chrome", they slapped some Metro iconography onto their ChromeOS UI.

Is it a shame? Yes. Is it understandable? Very. There's no point releasing a half-baked version for the few thousand people that would use it. It would be harmful to both Mozilla and the Metro UI to do that.

I don't see who'd want to use Firefox as a watered down app anyway. Firefox is known for the robust features it offers through the extensions, not to mention the level of customization it provides. Making a simple Windows 8 app just doesn't make sense...

Dot Matrix said,
Further proof Mozilla can't do #### anymore.

Just further proof no one is using metro/Win 8.

I see articles on Neowin today saying only 1000 metro users of firefox, and banks ignoring Win 8 and moving to Win 7.

time to wake up and smell the roses.

dvb2000 said,

Just further proof no one is using metro/Win 8.

I see articles on Neowin today saying only 1000 metro users of firefox, and banks ignoring Win 8 and moving to Win 7.

time to wake up and smell the roses.

Metro was just released for Firefox, and it's only in beta form. Consumers aren't going to be using beta software.

Hurmoth said,

Where does it state that's devs only? I'm not seeing that (using a mobile phone, so I won't lie, I could just be missing it).

w3 schools metrics are from their own site's visitors only. They are a resource for web developers.

Dot Matrix said,
Further proof Mozilla can't do #### anymore. Firefox is complacent and stale, and it's sad to see them not give a damn. But, hey, you keep on supporting that Windows XP!

Go run Chrome vs. Firefox on a 3K display - no contest that Mozilla has the advantage in HDPI environments now. If and when Chrome decided to fix this it will be a different story, but until then I am having to run FF (and quite liking it) on my Lenovo W540 laptop's 3K screen to save my eyes from the blurriness that is Chrome @ 3K.

Complacent and stale? Not giving a damn? No, you are very wrong about all of that.

dvb2000 said,

Just further proof no one is using metro/Win 8.

I see articles on Neowin today saying only 1000 metro users of firefox, and banks ignoring Win 8 and moving to Win 7.

time to wake up and smell the roses.

No, it's not. It's proof that people don't know to install something that's not available on the store and has to be downloaded from a nightly build page they know nothing about. I tried it once and it was so incomplete it was unusable. This is all on Mozilla's head, not Microsoft's.

Eric said,
No, it's not. It's proof that people don't know to install something that's not available on the store and has to be downloaded from a nightly build page they know nothing about. I tried it once and it was so incomplete it was unusable. This is all on Mozilla's head, not Microsoft's.

I really hope you're not implying that nightly builds are for the average user or that one should ever have to use one at all to enjoy Firefox, because both are absolutely false.

Thankfully! Mozilla has so many other things to focus on Firefox. Opera around 24-25 stable version as I see it, it's gonna be the best browser. Opera of course is not there yet, but has Chromium and Windows Native UI.

Dot Matrix said,
Even Google ships a half assed version for Windows 8.

And apparently that's exactly what Mozilla doesn't want to do. Did you actually read the article? They could ship an half-assed version of Firefox for Windows 8, but they made a decision not to.

dead.cell said,

I really hope you're not implying that nightly builds are for the average user or that one should ever have to use one at all to enjoy Firefox, because both are absolutely false.

No, I'm saying the exact opposite. The immersive version of Firefox has never been available through any channels the average user would know about. (i.e.: the Windows Store or even the regular Firefox download page) Of course nobody used it. They didn't know it existed.

Sartoris said,

W3schools' stats are worthless. I wish people would stop using them.

They aren't so much worthless, it's more that they must be framed in context, something that is usually never done correctly these days anymore (Read: They're wrong because they're not impartial).

They are not relevant for the purposes they were so gleefully used in this discussion, however, they have some relevance among developers, though only some.

Ideas Man said,

They aren't so much worthless, it's more that they must be framed in context, something that is usually never done correctly these days anymore (Read: They're wrong because they're not impartial).

They are not relevant for the purposes they were so gleefully used in this discussion, however, they have some relevance among developers, though only some.

This one is better--> http://gs.statcounter.com/#des...browser-ww-yearly-2013-2014

Dot Matrix said,
Further proof Mozilla can't do #### anymore. Firefox is complacent and stale, and it's sad to see them not give a damn. But, hey, you keep on supporting that Windows XP!

- The Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dependent on community efforts and volunteer work. If many Neowin developers want a Modern UI Firefox to come true, jump on the train.

- For each Windows 8.0 and 8.1 install *combined*, there are around three Windows XP installs.

- While having the resources to support the latest of all OS variants would be nice, Mozilla has to give priority by user counts since, above all, people expect that they should be able to run Firefox on a popular OS.

- Operating systems favored by the developers themselves will always see more early support. This is likely why Linux and OS X are supported despite small desktop market shares. They simply find these operating systems more fun than Modern UI stuff. Some developers (probably not a majority though) are indeed paid so that personal preferences should matter less, but they aren't paid by Microsoft.

- Once the situation with Windows 8.x changes and it actually becomes more (or at least as) popular than Windows XP or Windows 7, this will no doubt change.

Edited by Northgrove, Mar 15 2014, 6:24pm :

Dot Matrix said,

Metro was just released for Firefox, and it's only in beta form. Consumers aren't going to be using beta software.

I use Firefox betas all the time. But I have no interest in Metro. And it seems most the others don't either. If there's no testers, bugs won't be found and the product will end up unstable. It's also a testament to how few people are really using Metro.

It wouldn't surprise me if even Google dropped Chrome Metro support in the future due to lack of interest.

simplezz said,

I use Firefox betas all the time. But I have no interest in Metro. And it seems most the others don't either. If there's no testers, bugs won't be found and the product will end up unstable. It's also a testament to how few people are really using Metro.

It wouldn't surprise me if even Google dropped Chrome Metro support in the future due to lack of interest.

Which would be stupid since Metro isn't going anywhere, and could replace Win32 within the next couple of years.

Dot Matrix said,

Which would be stupid since Metro isn't going anywhere, and could replace Win32 within the next couple of years.

You've been preaching that same old tired FUD since the windows 8 preview days.

Hurmoth said,
Google also has 55+% of the browsing market. They are also a mega corporation compared to Mozilla. They can afford to take risks.

Mozilla also isn't some bankrupt company. They have revenues of like $200 million and have a decent profit margin too. Sure they're tiny compared to Google but they make a lot of money for essentially a free product (yes Google gives them a lot of money).

-Razorfold said,

Mozilla also isn't some bankrupt company. They have revenues of like $200 million and have a decent profit margin too. Sure they're tiny compared to Google but they make a lot of money for essentially a free product (yes Google gives them a lot of money).

Revenue /= profit.

And it still doesn't invalidate my point. Try running a company and/or development department and you'll realize that everything is about ROI. Firefox for Metro simply didn't have a proper ROI to justify the continued resources.

""We've been watching Metro's adoption," said Johnathan Nightingale, vice president of Firefox, in a Friday blog. "From what we can see, it's pretty flat. On any given day we have, for instance, millions of people testing pre-release versions of Firefox desktop, but we've never seen more than 1,000 active daily users in the Metro environment.""

http://www.computerworld.com.a...er_apathy_toward_windows_8/

I think we can agree Metro on the desktop is going nowhere, no one wants it. The sooner Microsoft drops it the better.

dvb2000 said,

I think we can agree Metro on the desktop is going nowhere, no one wants it. The sooner Microsoft drops it the better.

^this

Hurmoth said,

Revenue /= profit.

And it still doesn't invalidate my point. Try running a company and/or development department and you'll realize that everything is about ROI. Firefox for Metro simply didn't have a proper ROI to justify the continued resources.

Their for profit subsidiary had revenue of $160 million and a profit of $25 million. Which is why I said "decent profit margin".

Their non-profit foundation (which the for profit subsidiary is part of) had revenues of $310 million. They get something like $100 million from Google just to keep their homepage google.com

My point was simply that Mozilla is not some tiny company that works out of someone's backyard and is powered by cookies. There are companies that make less money, less profit and still manage to do a whole lot more than Mozilla manages to do nowadays.

dvb2000 said,

I think we can agree Metro on the desktop is going nowhere, no one wants it. The sooner Microsoft drops it the better.

The iOS app store didn't take off right away either. And *if* Microsoft were to drop it, what do you think they would do, go back to the desktop, and abandon all those developers? Forget it, they'd never code for another Microsoft product again.

Metro isn't going anywhere, and neither is the store.

Dot Matrix said,

Metro isn't going anywhere, and neither is the store.

Agreed. But it will have many forms until MS finds the right mix.

Dot Matrix said,
Metro isn't going anywhere, and neither is the store.

Microsoft seem to disagree with you, they have sacked the architects and execs responsible for it, they are de-prioritising it (in favour of the desktop & start menu) with every update. Win 9 should see it totally dead and buried.

dvb2000 said,

Microsoft seem to disagree with you, they have sacked the architects and execs responsible for it, they are de-prioritising it (in favour of the desktop & start menu) with every update. Win 9 should see it totally dead and buried.


If they do that Windows will stop existing. No one cares about desktop environment anymore - it is the era of smart phones and tablets.

dvb2000 said,

Microsoft seem to disagree with you, they have sacked the architects and execs responsible for it, they are de-prioritising it (in favour of the desktop & start menu) with every update. Win 9 should see it totally dead and buried.


Yes, and become the next irrelevant tech company. cool story.

dvb2000 said,

Microsoft seem to disagree with you, they have sacked the architects and execs responsible for it, they are de-prioritising it (in favour of the desktop & start menu) with every update. Win 9 should see it totally dead and buried.

Microsoft is still firmly invested in their "One Microsoft" direction. Windows 9 isn't going to change that.

james.faction said,

Silly rabbit... That is just visits to the w3schools site. This is more accurate reflection of market share:

http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php

> This report was generated 02/28/2014 based on the last 15,000 page views to each website tracked by W3Counter. W3Counter's sample currently includes 73,150 websites.

73k websites who put w3counter (which almost nobody does) and 35% of the visitors are US based.

Nice market share.

Chikairo said,

That's fair. I'd argue the real problem is it can't run on Windows RT. Its actually rather nice, and I'm one the few people using/trying it in that fashion. Its way better than Chrome for the environment.

True, and that is the fault of Microsoft, not Mozilla.

Dot Matrix said,
Further proof Mozilla can't do #### anymore. Firefox is complacent and stale, and it's sad to see them not give a damn. But, hey, you keep on supporting that Windows XP!

Soooooo, were you helping them test the this beta?? I know you're a fan of modern ui, but you can't change the reality that apparently very few people were interested in testing it, so how you can blame them for sideline a project that has very little interest?

Crimson Rain said,

Yes, better but still flawed for this context. It calculates "page view share" not "browser share."

What do you suggest using? Also, if you're "viewing a page" wouldn't you need to use a browser and if each "page view share" is measured in a particular browser wouldn't that give the statistics on said browser use?

xrobwx said,

What do you suggest using? Also, if you're "viewing a page" wouldn't you need to use a browser and if each "page view share" is measured in a particular browser wouldn't that give the statistics on said browser use?


Not really.

Suppose you browse 10 pages on neowin today using chrome.
I browse 5 pages on neowin today using firefox.

By that logic, chrome has 50% more share than firefox (ff 33.3%, chrome 66.6%). But this share is PAGE VIEW share. (this is what statcounter does)
For BROWSER share, each would have 50% share. (this is what netmarketshare does).

When you are talking about browser share, the 2nd one makes more sense.