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Mozilla Releases Firefox Metro Preview for Windows 8 RTM

Mozilla updated its blog on Thursday with news that Firefox Metro Preview for Windows 8 is now available to download. This version of the popular browser works in both the Windows 8 "Classic Desktop" environment as well as Microsoft's Modern UI. And as the preview's name states, Mozilla is sticking with the "Metro" label despite Microsoft's insistence to use the newer description.

The drawback to this release is that it's meant for the RTM version of Windows 8 – users of the Release Preview seem to be out of luck. The new browser can be downloaded as a nightly build from the Elm development branch which is the experimental repository where most of Mozilla's Metro development has been stored.

"This repository produces nightly builds, much like the Firefox Nightly channel. Once installed, these builds will self-update so that you can track Metro Firefox development," said Asa Dotzler, Product Manager for Firefox at Mozilla.

Dotzler said the Firefox preview includes a new Metro style Firefox Start page, support for Firefox Sync, Metro touch and swipe gestures, integration with Windows 8 "charms", and a streamlined, modern Australis interface. Naturally over the next few weeks, Mozilla will be tightening up the Windows integration, adding new features, improving performance and responsiveness, and finishing up all the necessary work so that the browser will be ready on October 26.

As seen in the screenshot above, this version of Firefox is similar to what's offered on iOS and Android, cramming the tabs in the top-right corner. Everything else is located under the address bar including bookmarks and the user's recent history. Naturally this build is more "blockish" than the mobile versions, fitting in with the Windows 8 environment.

"This is an early preview and we know there are bugs and missing features, so please don’t hesitate to share your feedback and file any bugs you find," he said.

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  • A Bad Day
    All that's missing is touchscreen monitors for desktops and lappies...
    Reply
  • livebriand
    It would be nice if it worked - when I try to launch it (under vmware btw), it shows the splash screen, and then closes.
    Reply
  • belardo
    Wouldn't ff as a whole be a bug?

    A Bad DayAll that's missing is touchscreen monitors for desktops and lappies... Uh... no.... touchscreen desktops suck.
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    belardoUh... no.... touchscreen desktops suck.
    Nah, they're okay...

    Until you try to photoshop, game or use Autodesk with touchscreen. Then the sensitivity is going to be too low, and good luck playing BF3 or SC2 with touchscreen.
    Reply
  • jerm1027
    otacon72Firefox has been garbage since v4. I can't even play one youtube video without it crashing because of flash and don't blame Adobe. I can have 10 tabs open in IE9 all playing youtube videos without any issue at all. Maybe they should test more instead of releasing a new major update every other week.Probably a misconfiguration in your system. Firefox has only ever crashed twice on me since 14 (use 15.0.1 now). Most of what I do is email, facebook, YouTube, live streams, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and tech forums. I (reluctantly) make extensive use of Flash with well over 30 tabs open simultaneously without issue. IE9 lags like crazy when you put that kind of stress on it.
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    otacon72Firefox has been garbage since v4. I can't even play one youtube video without it crashing because of flash and don't blame Adobe. I can have 10 tabs open in IE9 all playing youtube videos without any issue at all. Maybe they should test more instead of releasing a new major update every other week.
    What Flash version are you using? Flash 11.4 is more stable than 11.3 for FF.
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    One question...where do you go to Start the program?
    Reply
  • tech_twist
    not my type! will stick with windows 7
    Reply
  • Cryio
    Install Firefox Metro. Make Firefox Metro the default browser in Default Programs. Launch Firefox Metro from the Start Screen.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    Much as a vocal minority will claim they will never use Windows 8, next year 400 million PCs will ship to the world and a good chunk of those will have Windows 8 pre-installed. Ordinary people will buy it, get used to it and carry on as normal the same as any other OS release. Even software companies that hate Microsoft will tow the line and make a Metro App for their software because good or bad they simply cannot afford to not be involved in the market.
    Reply