We had been told earlier a month ago that a Firefox for Windows 8 metro interface was being planned. Now, the Mozilla team has announced that it has started the development of the said version of Firefox. According to Mozilla, it is a ‘very large project.’ In that case, we may hope to see something very interesting coming from Mozilla’s front hopefully by summer this year.
According to the personnel of the team working on this specific version of Firefox, this very project is aimed at creating a Firefox that can mimic Internet Explorer in Windows 8. IE is the default browser of Windows 8 and being so, enjoys default functionality of running in both classic and metro desktop. However, Microsoft didn’t add this functionality for other browsers. So now, Mozilla has to do so on its own.
According to Mozilla’s Brian R. Bondy, “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. Metro style enabled desktop browsers have access to most Win32 API and the entire new WinRT API.
Unfortunately a browser can only participate in Metro mode if it is the default browser. So if Firefox is not the default browser on a system, you can’t use it in Metro mode. This is a decision made by Microsoft.”
So when can we expect this Metro-styled Firefox to land on Windows 8? According to Mozilla’s publicly displayed schedule, it is to happen by July 17. But that is not a definite date, just a guess in case this huge project goes on without any hitches. And anyway, the team doesn’t think it can go beyond a late Beta version this year.
Image courtesy Justin.