Mozilla Firefox will available for us with the upcoming upcoming Metro Interface from Windows 8, Mozilla announced.
This decision came shortly after Microsoft made the Windows 8 Consumer Preview available for download. It is a brave decision, because it will compete directly with Internet Explorer 10. Unfortunately, according to Microsoft, a browser can only participate in Metro mode if it is the default browser.
Firefox will be developed as a “Metro style enabled desktop browser” and it will run both on the Desktop and on Metro Interface. “Metro style enabled desktop browsers have access to most Win32 API and the entire new WinRT API,” said Brian R. Bondy from Mozilla.
For Mozilla, this is a big project because it requires a whole new code for Metro. Besides this, they have to catch up with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 which is being released in the latest Consumer Preview version of Windows 8.
Another interesting quote from the announcement:
Windows 8 has a minimum requirement of hardware that supports Direct X 9 and I’m not aware of any alternative like GDI available. So the Direct X blacklist of graphic cards we currently maintain may not be applicable in Metro mode.
Even if Mozilla Firefox for Metro Interface is “extremely early in development”, the Mozilla Wiki page reveals this version would be available as Firefox 14. Mozilla’s Rapid Release/Calendar reveals that on July 17, Firefox 14 will be released on the official channel. Still, nothing is official, since this version just started to be developed. And before releasing the final version, Mozilla will release Aurora and Beta versions.
Asa Dotzler, a community coordinator for Firefox marketing projects said to ZDNet:
The Firefox 14 target is not a final release of Firefox for Metro. 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.
By announcing Internet Explorer 10 last year and Windows 8 later, Microsoft gave competitors a glimpse of their new OS, but still didn’t gave them the details. Now, the competition must close the gap and reach Microsoft, in order to match up to users’ expectations.