SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Mozilla has announced that it has a working prototype of its Firefox web browser for the Metro user interface of Windows 8.
Mozilla had announced earlier that it would be building a version of its Firefox web browser for the Metro user interface in Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system. Within weeks, it announced that it had managed to port a build of Fennec over to Windows 8 Metro with a user interface that looks identical to Firefox for Android.
Mozilla's Brian Bondy said the browser can load websites, create tabs, bookmark pages, build history, retain cache, adjust preferences and generally behave like a web browser should. However Bondy said he didn't consider Mozilla's goal of having a working Firefox in Metro by the second quarter of 2012 as being met, saying that there are still open design questions and "a ton of platform integration work to do".
Bondy said the final user interface could look completely different, as Mozilla will be following Metro specific user interface guidelines. He added that by using Fennec the team got something of a head start and that if it continues to use Fennec XUL, the project will be ahead of schedule.
Bondy gave a vivid illustration of why both Google and Mozilla have started work on porting their respective web browsers onto Metro, saying the default web browser on Metro becomes the default browser on the standard desktop. Therefore if a browser doesn't work or produces a poor experience on Metro, Bondy claimed, "it is seriously at risk of losing the default browser status, and therefore significant market share. A browser without support for Metro, if default, would be taking away a Metro browser completely from the user's computer."
Mozilla had complained of Microsoft's poor documentation for its Metro APIs, although Bondy didn't give any information on how Mozilla was working around Microsoft's obstacles. However given his comments regarding the importance of Metro, it is vital for both Google and Mozilla to produce capable Metro web browsers. µ
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