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04 October 2012, 16:59

Mozilla previews Firefox "Metro" for Windows 8

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Firefox Metro tab screenshot
Zoom Firefox Metro's touchable tab bar for Windows "Metro"
Source: Mozilla
Mozilla has released a preview version of Firefox Metro for Windows 8, a version of the browser which runs both in Microsoft's "Metro" touch-friendly environment and on the classic Windows desktop. Mozilla has continued to use the term "Metro" to refer to the user interface even though Microsoft has ceased using that name.

The preview shows off a number of new features that have been created for this version such as a "Metro" style Firefox start page with rectangular coloured panels on a grid representing bookmarks and recent history. The preview also includes support for "Metro" touch and swipe gestures, Windows 8 "charms", a simple version of the Australis interface and Firefox Sync.

Firefox Metro's metroised start page
Zoom The rectangular colourful stylings of "Metro" continue inside Mozilla's Metro browser
Source: Mozilla

According to one of the developers, Brian Bondy, this preview is not meant to be complete, but only to give a glimpse of what will be delivered. The preview will have automatic nightly updating enabled with its own channel for those updates. To use the "Metro" browser, it is necessary – to comply with Windows 8 – to set the browser as default; this can be done from within Firefox. The preview lacks Flash support, and the "Metro" environment will not have add-ons enabled, but the Windows Desktop version will. At the moment, panning and zooming is disabled and scrolling with the mouse wheel is broken.

The developers say that people should feel free to file feature requests and post bug reports. Further information about the nightly version and the general development of the Windows 8 version of Firefox is available on the Mozilla Wiki. The nightly version is available as a direct downloadDirect download.


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