Mozilla is working on a new version of the Firefox web browser that’s designed to work with the new Metro user interface for Windows 8. That means that Windows 8 tablet owners won’t be restricted to using the touch-friendly version of Internet Explorer 10 that will come with Microsoft’s next-generation operating system.
Right now Firefox for Metro is still in the early planning phases, but Mozilla has revealed some details:
- The browser will use the same Gecko rendering engine as other versions of Firefox.
- Firefox for Metro will have touch-friendly controls, but they may not be arranged quite the same as those on the Firefox browser for Android since app toolbars in Metro are at the top and bottom of the screen rather than the sides.
- There will be a full-screen view, but like other Metro apps you’ll be able to “snap” the browser so you can use two normally full-screen apps at the same time.
Mozilla will continue developing Firefox for the desktop Windows experience as well, since most Windows 8 systems will offer a traditional desktop view.
The first proof of concept version of Firefox for Windows 8 Metro is due out in the second quarter of 2012, with an alpha version of the new web browser expected in the second half of the year.