Windows 8 Firefox Metro screenshots hit the web

Mozilla has been open about its development plans for making a Metro version of its Firefox web browser for Windows 8 for the past several weeks. This week, Mozilla programmer Brian Bondy updated his blog showing the first screenshots of what Firefox for Windows 8 Metro will look like, starting with a screenshot of his own blog page.

The screenshots on the page, including the one above, showcase a browser that is still very early in development. Bondy states that the user interface will change in upcoming versions.

According to Bondy:

As of last week, we have a working browser in Metro. It currently looks and feels the same as the Android browser. You can navigate the web, create tabs, bookmark pages, build history, retain cache, adjust preferences, and more.

The Metro version of Firefox has a number of Windows 8 features already in place, according to Bondy. That includes the Metro snap feature and the Windows 8 search and share contracts.

Bondy also explains why it is important to have a Windows 8 Metro version of Firefox in the first place. According to Microsoft's own requirements, a Metro version of any web browser in Windows 8 can be set to by the default browser, where it can be used in both Metro and regular desktop versions. If such a web browser does not support the Metro UI, Bondy says that browser could lose a lot of market share compared to the others that will support Metro.

He adds:

Even if a user spends most of their time in the Desktop interface, having a really good Metro browser may be enough for the user to change their default browser. A browser with great Metro support can gain significant browser market share for this reason. It is extremely important that we deliver an awesome Firefox experience on Metro, one that is tightly integrated with the platform, fast, and feature rich. Windows is by far the platform with the most users and which has the biggest effect on market share.

Image via Mozilla

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49 Comments

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My greatest fear when it comes to fullscreen touch apps is developers are going to "make" and "design" some ugly interfaces, just as many today still make apps with skins and controls from the year 2000

I know this is a prototype, but I think many will be going outside the Metro guidelines (or don't even care for them at all) when writing Metro apps. Hopefully, the big developers won't take the easy way and make their apps follow UI guidelines.

Why develop a Metro version at all? Just because Microsoft is doing it? Mozilla should focus on its strengths. With all the users split across the dozen versions of Firefox, you don't want even more fragmentation with Metro vs desktop versions.

xpclient said,
Why develop a Metro version at all? Just because Microsoft is doing it? Mozilla should focus on its strengths. With all the users split across the dozen versions of Firefox, you don't want even more fragmentation with Metro vs desktop versions.

Tablets.

Windows on tablets will mainly be ARM, hence, there won't be a way to execute Firefox for Desktop.
If there is no Metro version, they lose out on playing in a market that's growing rapidly.
(Well yes, they are present on Android, but I guess W8 will be big with tablets, and they want to make sure not to be too late to the party, because I guess many people will ask "how can I get Firefox on this thing" after they get their W8 tablet.
If initially they get a "there is no FF for this tablet" they stop bothering and use IE.

After finding out it works well, they won't bother downloading FF either once it's released (which might even go unnoticed with them).

GS:win

So people think this is exactly what they will be downloading tomorrow and are already whining? Let me laugh, please...

...well, I couldn't laugh after all.

That is all find and dandy for smartphone and tablet users installing Windows-8.
Let's hope that Mozilla hasn't gotten "lost in the rapture of MS hype" and will continue to provide a viable browser for the millions of users with laptops and desktops who will be continuing to use XP and Windows-7.

I understand that they're just porting the Android code, but it does look horridly unmetro...really hope they focus on improving the Metro-ness of it ;D

Since everything there is to say about the UI has already been said,

That live-tile, while it looks good right now, is too distracting because it's out of place with the rest of the tiles.

So I've done a quick Photoshop to metrofy their current logo.
http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/5820/quickphotoshop.png

I feel like Mozilla shouldn't change their icon too much, but they should keep it as it is for the Metro version browser. (Use the non-metro icon with a tile for the non-Metro version maybe?)

Every company will have its own interpretation of Metro because there is no guideline how it should be done therefore whole OS will ended up looking like Circus where you are presented with unfamiliar interface everytime you open a new application...MS at its best.

Actually this looks better than IE10 because i can clearly see web address and back and forward button and refresh button. Mozilla is trying to come up with interface which makes sense given Metro which doesn't make sense. As I said no guideline so expect different ideas with different apps.

techguy77 said,
Every company will have its own interpretation of Metro because there is no guideline how it should be done therefore whole OS will ended up looking like Circus where you are presented with unfamiliar interface everytime you open a new application...MS at its best.

They can use Windows Phone Metro UI guides that where realeased in 2010.

Windows 8 is not relseased yet so I wouldn't expect anything official till at least RC.

All those bitching about a pre-alpha GUI on a pre-alpha product, ignorance is bliss it would seem.

When it's closer to completion, I expect it'll still share the same (or similar) layout to the mobile
version of Firefox they've ported this across from, but far more likely to have the flatter Metro
style look about it ... no rounded corners on tabs for instance.

I wonder if it'll share any of the customistability of it's desktop counterpart ... ?!?

ahhell said,
If they are so early in development, WTF would they release screenshots?

Because Mozilla works in public, not behind closed doors (especially since it's open source). These weren't 'released', because there's isn't much of a concept of 'not released'..

Nice that they've implemented contracts already.
Nice Job by Mozilla team, actually learning WinRT/Metro.
Can't wait until GUI team gets in line with Metro design guidelines.

They shouldn't be posting screenshots if it's nothing like what we should be expecting. People are obviously going to get the wrong idea. We know they're working on it, we don't need any more info than that.

I love how you guys don't read. This is just a test to get a concept working. This is in no way or will it be the final design. Don't threat!

Guys, READ.

As a starting point they have used the Firefox for Android interface code, probably a straight copy-paste.

THE UI TEAMS HAVEN'T STARTED WORKING ON IT YET.

_Heracles said,
Round corners on metro
thats like
a Nazi walking into a Jewish community

Flat interface on Desktop, that's like ....

I guess most people ignored this part: Bondy states that the user interface will change in upcoming versions.

Guys they have just implemented the engine in metro yet , the UI will change soon and this is not at all what it will look like

Nice to see them making progress but we could've done without the screenshots. They don't show much and aren't even close to final so I thank them for at least updating us but I'll be ignoring the screenshots as it makes it ugly for me as of right now.

doesn't look or feel metro at all. Metro is all about blocky colours, not gradients. Bad mozilla ! IE10 Metro looks MUCH better

rev23dev said,
Yikes. Way to follow design patterns guys.

you do know that this is just the proted code..and no UI stuff is added yet right?

It doesn't even FEEL metro. Just like the android version its such a clunky mess UI wise from that screenshot.

nw2001 said,
It doesn't even FEEL metro. Just like the android version its such a clunky mess UI wise from that screenshot.

It's probably just a pre-beta product.

nw2001 said,
It doesn't even FEEL metro. Just like the android version its such a clunky mess UI wise from that screenshot.

I think they have been successful in porting the code over from Android. Now, they would be focusing on colors and metro! At least that's how it seems!

nw2001 said,
It doesn't even FEEL metro. Just like the android version its such a clunky mess UI wise from that screenshot.

This is just their prototype. They're not experimenting on the UI; they're just focusing on getting the backend working. This isn't even Firefox Desktop; it's the mobile version. They still haven't decided whether they will continue using this prototype or whether they will use Firefox Desktop (and hopefully they will choose the latter).

Meph said,

This is just their prototype. They're not experimenting on the UI; they're just focusing on getting the backend working. This isn't even Firefox Desktop; it's the mobile version. They still haven't decided whether they will continue using this prototype or whether they will use Firefox Desktop (and hopefully they will choose the latter).

The problem is that this is worse than zero. If they have invested zero time in the UI design, it would have looked better. Too bad, they invested some time to make the UI worse.

BannedForTruth said,

The problem is that this is worse than zero. If they have invested zero time in the UI design, it would have looked better. Too bad, they invested some time to make the UI worse.

But it's just the Fennec tablet XUL UI that you can find on Firefox for Android tablets. They haven't invested any resources into the UI (unless you're referring to the Windows 8 contracts, like Search). The UX team haven't even finished their UI mockups.

One thing I am annoyed on, though, is the tile icon. It doesn't fit with Metro at all.

Meph said,

One thing I am annoyed on, though, is the tile icon. It doesn't fit with Metro at all.

Yes, I hope they can come up with a more appropriate icon too. It should be quite easy to convert their current icon into something that would suit Metro.

nw2001 said,
It doesn't even FEEL metro. Just like the android version its such a clunky mess UI wise from that screenshot.

You honestly expect all the devs out there to adhere to Metro "guidelines"?

This is jst a preview of what Windows 8 is in for. Get ready for ugly, ugly, hideous, fullscreen interfaces. Just like every time devs have been free to "skin" applications.