Mozilla begins Development of Firefox for Windows 8 Metro

Mozilla has started working on a Firefox version that is fully functional in the Metro interface of Windows 8. Currently it is possible to install Chrome and Firefox in Windows 8, but they will work only in the desktop environment and not in the Metro interface.

Microsoft IE is the only browser as of now that works both in Metro interface as well as Win 8 Desktop. Development of the Firefox for Metro interface has began this week, Mozilla developer Brian Bondy throws some light on the developmental efforts.

According to him the project is large one and will requires new code, once completed you can run Firefox on Desktop as well as on Metro interface. It seems that Windows 8 will have 3 types of applications: 1) Desktop applications 2) Metro applications and 3) Metro style enabled desktop browsers. Firefox for Metro belongs to the third category.

Unlike Metro applications, Metro style enabled desktop browsers have the ability to run outside of the Metro sandbox. Meaning not only can we build a browser, but we can build a powerful browser which gives an experience equal to that of a classic Desktop browser.

Running browser in the new Metro interface of Windows 8 requires the browser to be default for the system. If Firefox is not the default browser you won’t be able to use it in the Metro interface.

From Bondy’s blogpost it is not clear how the app once finished will be distributed, whether it will be available via the Windows store or not is not yet clear.

We may not anticipate the release of Firefox for Metro this year. Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler says on ZDNet comments that we may not have a final release of the browser this year, only beta is possible.

We’re working in stages. We have a proof of concept now. Next we’ll get an actual browser standing up. After that, an Alpha, then a Beta, then a final release. I do not anticipate that we will get beyond a late stage Beta this year.

Mozilla’s intention to develop Firefox for Metro makes sense and I hope Google will also join the party with Chrome for Metro Interface in Windows 8. I am already using Chrome in Windows 8 and look forward for Chrome for Metro UI.

Via Brian Bondy Blog, ZDNet