Windows 8 Metro version of Firefox in development

Windows 8 will come with Microsoft's own Internet Explorer 10 for web browsing duties but if you want a secondary choice, it looks like Mozilla will be offering its own version of Firefox for Microsoft's next operating system. Mozilla revealed today via its MozillaWiki web site that it plans to release a version of its popular Firefox web browser that will work with Windows 8's Metro interface, with the first public concept release coming as soon as February.

According to the announcement:

The feature goal here is a new Gecko based browser built for and integrated with the Metro environment. Firefox on Metro, like all other Metro apps will be full screen, focused on touch interactions, and connected to the rest of the Metro environment through Windows 8 contracts.

The MozillaWiki has yet another page that goes into further detail on the organization's plans for Firefox to run on Windows 8's Metro UI. Mozilla will also release a version of Firefox that will run on Windows 8's "Classic" UI, stating:

Classic is very similar to the Windows 7 environment at this time, it requires a simple evolution of the current Firefox Windows product. Metro is an entirely new environment and requires a new Firefox front end and system integration points.

With Microsoft planning to launch the Consumer Version of Windows 8 on February 29, the first concept version of Firefox for Windows 8 Metro could be released on that same day or shortly thereafter. Public alpha and beta versions of the browser should be released in the second half of 2012.

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I'd like to use IE metro, but without plugins it forces me to go to the old desktop version... which kinda defeats the purpose of trying to get in touch with metro (no pun intended). Will foxy at least let plugins work? Or does metro itself not have a place for them to be stored/linked to? I'd like to see myself able to switch seamlessly between browser and apps all within metro. Or maybe that's not practical anyway since most of our apps today work only on the desktop. hahaha.. one just can't win this argument..

Ohh oh oh but I noticed something!!! If you go to desktop to use IE, the metro apps will close themselves a lot sooner than if you were using IE Metro. I'm certain they'll let us disable time outs... and put manually close apps button.

Microsoft couldnt integrate IE with windows because by doing so back in the 90's they managed to get that browser who nobody remembers anymore closed down. So EU put a 12 restriction on bundling new stuff with Windows. That has in so many ways hurt Microsoft with stuff like: do not bundle windows live essentials, basic antivirus, iso mounts, could integration etc.. Now in everyone's eyes "Microsoft is too late to include these, Microsoft are copying other OSes" etc. So has the restriction hurt Microsoft? yes as other companies could bundle new stuff. The restriction is lifted and now Windows 8 is coming out.

With Microsoft planning to launch the Consumer Version of Windows 8 on February 29,
The consumer version will not, in fact, be released on the 29th. The consumer preview (aka beta), however, will be.

satukoro said,
The consumer version will not, in fact, be released on the 29th. The consumer preview (aka beta), however, will be.

Indeed. Mr Callaham has missed the critical word "Preview" from his article there. Without that word it means something completely different (not to mention completely wrong).

Cool, I hoped that they would release something metro based. Hopefully they'll make something fresh and interesting.

Btw, I think the Mozilla link might be referring to Windows 8 beta itself being available in February, not a 'concept version' of the browser.

Knowing how fast Mozilla moves I wouldn't expect any official Metro. releases for quite some time.

In developement? Reading through their documents I think not It's more like, they're researching whether it'd actually be possible / worth their time to do it, and so far they're under the assumption that it doesn't look like it'd be possible given the security restrictions in place anyway. Opera Mini would be possible, but Firefox, with performance that matches the desktop? Unlikely.

TDT said,
Firefox for Windows 8 but no ANY OTHER browser than IE for Windows Phone 7?! This sucks...
Well it might get easier to port Firefox from W8 to WP8 if they do a Metro apps
I don't see why they are wasting their time with Android since it's crap and Android users are pro-Google using Chrome or other webkit based browser.

TDT said,
Firefox for Windows 8 but no ANY OTHER browser than IE for Windows Phone 7?! This sucks...

On the bright side, mobile browsing still pretty much sucks no matter which app you're using.

Apps will be Web 3.0, yanno.

they will not block it. they will just require one version w/o it and then OEMs can chose to use it...in practice nobody does. famous N versions of windows are available. have you ever used one? thankfully not.

neonspark said,
they will not block it. they will just require one version w/o it and then OEMs can chose to use it...in practice nobody does. famous N versions of windows are available. have you ever used one? thankfully not.

All windows PCs in Europe are sold without any browser. Upon first startup the user is presented with a browser ballot screen. Version N in for no Media Player.
http://crave.cnet.co.uk/softwa...ditions-explained-49303415/

alexalex said,

All windows PCs in Europe are sold without any browser. Upon first startup the user is presented with a browser ballot screen. Version N in for no Media Player.
http://crave.cnet.co.uk/softwa...ditions-explained-49303415/

All Window's PC's in Europe come with Internet Explorer installed - the icon just doesn't appear on the desktop until you choose it. (You can't uninstall IE from Windows anyway without risking breaking applications)

~Johnny said,
All Window's PC's in Europe come with Internet Explorer installed - the icon just doesn't appear on the desktop until you choose it. (You can't uninstall IE from Windows anyway without risking breaking applications)
It's funny because most if not all PC that I've seen in the latest month/years have IE9 pinned on the taskbar. No ballot screen is proposed.

well this is highly blow out of proportions. mozilla is saying they are just testing the waters. But as we all know, winRT is a heavyly challenged and restricted environement with tons of missing functionality from win32. will MSFT open an exception to certification requirements for mozilla to keep using win32 apis that other devs are forbidden?

Exactly. Metro-style Firefox will only be possible if Mozilla is allowed to bypass the security restrictions for normal WinRT apps, as Metro-style IE does.

Gungel said,
Nice, I hope this will work on Windows Phone 8 and ARM based tablets as well.

Technically, if it's a true Metro application, it will work on ARM hassle-free.

EU will block pre-installation of IE10 (as well as Office 15, Media player and maybe Anti-virus) on Windows 8/WOA, and demand a browser ballot screen, Firefox, Chrome, Opera... must come out with compatible browsers.

alexalex said,
EU will block pre-installation of IE10 (as well as Office 15, Media player and maybe Anti-virus) on Windows 8/WOA, and demand a browser ballot screen, Firefox, Chrome, Opera... must come out with compatible browsers.

EU can suck it. They've yet to complain so far.

Dot Matrix said,

EU can suck it. They've yet to complain so far.

Maybe they can, but it presents Microsoft with a dilemma as WOA can be updated only from Microsoft's store, which means that Microsoft has to store competitive browsers in its store.

alexalex said,
EU will block pre-installation of IE10 (as well as Office 15, Media player and maybe Anti-virus) on Windows 8/WOA, and demand a browser ballot screen, Firefox, Chrome, Opera... must come out with compatible browsers.
Given that they haven't blocked pre-installation of IE with Win7, why would they with Win8? Besides, all those browsers already *are* compatible, just not Metro'd.

Kirkburn said,
Given that they haven't blocked pre-installation of IE with Win7, why would they with Win8? Besides, all those browsers already *are* compatible, just not Metro'd.

Yes they did block IE on Windows 7. Windows comes without a browser pre-installed.

alexalex said,
EU will block pre-installation of IE10 (as well as Office 15, Media player and maybe Anti-virus) on Windows 8/WOA, and demand a browser ballot screen, Firefox, Chrome, Opera... must come out with compatible browsers.

alexalex said,
Maybe they can, but it presents Microsoft with a dilemma as WOA can be updated only from Microsoft's store, which means that Microsoft has to store competitive browsers in its store.
I suspect that's not a serious issue given that even Apple is willing to house Opera's alternative browser for iOS on the Apple Store. They also host unrelated Microsoft products (Bing app for instance).

Microsoft isn't trying to block competitors with their store. They are trying to get a slice of the profits from selling software (not as thrilled about Apple, Google and Microsoft putting themselves into a position to force this upon developers in order to reach regular users) as well as to provide a safer market for applications (less likely to host malware and trojans).

alexalex said,

Yes they did block IE on Windows 7. Windows comes without a browser pre-installed.


Nonsense. I'm in England and IE8 is included with Windows 7 when I install it from the DVD. The ballot screen comes from a windows update (unless I notice it and stop it first).

Denis W said,

The ballot screen opens up to this: http://www.browserchoice.eu/Br...Choice/browserchoice_en.htm

What else would open and render that page, if IE isn't installed on Windows 7?


It all comes down to the fact that the EU doesn't know what they're talking about. The rendering engine and everything that makes up IE are fundamental elements of the Windows OS and have been for a long, long time.

That, and any number of security issues, are reasons I throw my arms up in exasperation whenever I see someone who refuses to install IE updates just because they use Chrome/Fx.

pickypg said
,Apple is willing to house Opera's alternative browser for iOS on the Apple Store.

Note this this is Opera MINI and NOT Opera MOBILE. I wouldn't technically classify Opera Mini as a browser as it's like RDP'ing into a Windows machine on an iPad and claiming you're running Windows on it.

ALL browsers pretty much embed the built in Safari. I don't why MS would get into trouble for what Apple is ALREADY doing. If other browsers want to be in the App Store, they are perfectly free to embed the built in IE renderer.

digger1985 said,

Note this this is Opera MINI and NOT Opera MOBILE. I wouldn't technically classify Opera Mini as a browser as it's like RDP'ing into a Windows machine on an iPad and claiming you're running Windows on it.

Opera Mini is a stand-alone browser. It works the same way that the Amazon Kindle's browser works: it uses a server-side preprocessor to send it more conveniently compressed versions

It does not embed Safari.

digger1985 said,

ALL browsers pretty much embed the built in Safari. I don't why MS would get into trouble for what Apple is ALREADY doing. If other browsers want to be in the App Store, they are perfectly free to embed the built in IE renderer.

Because Microsoft should be better than Apple in this respect. That is far too restricting, and they would absolutely be hit by antitrust suits.

I don't mind walled gardens that block out malware and trojans, but I do like the ability to choose what goes inside of my garden.

BillyJack said,
EU only purpose is to sue to make money to help their broke economy.

At a wild guess, you're in the US (though apologies if not). If so: people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Joshie said,

It all comes down to the fact that the EU doesn't know what they're talking about. The rendering engine and everything that makes up IE are fundamental elements of the Windows OS and have been for a long, long time.

That makes no sense. The discussion was about the ballot screen, which was about ensuring people have a choice. It wasn't about whether IE should be built-in.

alexalex said,

Yes they did block IE on Windows 7. Windows comes without a browser pre-installed.


No it does not. Windows 7 on it's own comes with IE8. Pre-installed comes with a version of IE.

Be very careful Mozilla. Don't forget the millions of users within thousands of companies whose productivity is based on using keyboard-centered laptops and desktops. (In your rush to get to higher version numbers, a lot of stability has been sacrificed for the sake of "flash and sizzle.")

TsarNikky said,
Be very careful Mozilla. Don't forget the millions of users within thousands of companies whose productivity is based on using keyboard-centered laptops and desktops. (In your rush to get to higher version numbers, a lot of stability has been sacrificed for the sake of "flash and sizzle.")
Get over it. that was 6 months ago. there is also ways around it quit complaining as it auto-updates if you want it to.

TsarNikky said,
Be very careful Mozilla. Don't forget the millions of users within thousands of companies whose productivity is based on using keyboard-centered laptops and desktops.

Read the article.. it flat out says there's going to be a Metro version and a "classic" version for the traditional desktop, never mind the fact that Mozilla releases builds for other versions of Windows and other operating systems.

TsarNikky said,
Be very careful Mozilla. Don't forget the millions of users within thousands of companies whose productivity is based on using keyboard-centered laptops and desktops. (In your rush to get to higher version numbers, a lot of stability has been sacrificed for the sake of "flash and sizzle.")

It's usable in desktop too. I found myself loving IE10 Immersive. I mean Mozilla don't have to do the hide tab approach like in IE10.

Possession said,

It's usable in desktop too. I found myself loving IE10 Immersive. I mean Mozilla don't have to do the hide tab approach like in IE10.

Thank you for posting this. Someone who finally realizes that the Metro Windows 8 stuff works just fine on a desktop.

TsarNikky said,
Be very careful Mozilla. Don't forget the millions of users within thousands of companies whose productivity is based on using keyboard-centered laptops and desktops. (In your rush to get to higher version numbers, a lot of stability has been sacrificed for the sake of "flash and sizzle.")

This sounds an awful lot like the voice that trapped us in IE6.

...in an operating system no one who knows what they're talking about wants to use which makes any and all efforts by Mozilla ALSO complete bloat.