Mozilla shows off a Metro style Firefox prototype for Windows 8

| April 23, 2012

Mozilla has moved common step closer to its goal of delivering a  “Metro cast enabled browser.” In a status update earlier today, Mozilla’s Brian R. Bondy announced that his team had produced a “acting Firefox Windows 8 Metro prototype”:

As of endure week, we have a working browser in Metro. It currently looks and feels the same to the degree that the Android browser. You can course the web, create tabs, bookmark pages, shape history, retain cache, adjust preferences, and greater degree.

It’s a preliminary step, says Bondy. “[W]e silence have some open design questions, and a fashion of platform integration work to execute.” He also notes that the “UI disposition be changing,” and that feedback attached the user experience (UX) design has not still begun.


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Considering that development began excepting that a few weeks ago, the progress to note the time of is reasonable. Part of the understanding for the accelerated progress is the team’s expertness to use the existing Firefox volatile browser, Fennec. Surprisingly, Fennec “just worked” on Windows 8, in sharp comparison to the production problems they experienced using the sort code base on Android:

Our model in its current form is based adhering the Fennec XUL code. We used to exercise Fennec XUL on Android, but changed to a Native UI steady Android for startup performance reasons.We haven’t seen the same types of startup performance problems we’ve had on Android hitherto, even on VMs.

The prototype app includes aid for Metro snap, the HTML file picker, and the Windows 8 peer into contract. That latter item is prominent, as it allows the Metro mode of speech Firefox to process search terms entered in the Windows pursuit box.

The prototype also supports the portion contract, which means a page opened in the Metro manner of writing Firefox can be shared easily with other apps, such as Mail or a Twitter or Facebook retainer.

The status update includes several supplemental screenshots, showing off the admittedly preliminary Metro style UI:

Image credits: Brian R. Bondy / Mozilla

In a piece at the end of the rank update, Bondy explains “Why Windows 8 Metro brace is really important:

If a browser does not maintain Metro, it is seriously at peril of losing the default browser station, and therefore significant market share. A browser independently of support for Metro, if default, would be taking away a Metro browser completely from the user’s computer.

Microsoft has a assuming edge already in Windows 8, through a Metro style enabled browser that has at least a six-month head start forward its rivals. For Mozilla, though, the leading rival is Google, which has a Metro name version of Chrome in the works and has to all intents and purposes unlimited development resources.

Previously, Mozilla has related it expects to have a beta of Metro Firefox useful for general use before the close of 2012.

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