Two years after Mozilla first verbalized plans for a Windows 8 version of Firefox, the foundation has abandoned its Metro Firefox. Speaking via blog post, Mozilla's Jonathan Nightingale said that last week he asked engineering leads and release managers to take the Windows Metro version of Firefox off the rails.
Nightingale says that while the team is 'solid and did good work,' shipping a 1.0 version of Firefox Metro would be a mistake. The bottom line is that Mozilla isn't seeing much activity in the pre-release version. In fact, according to Nightingale, on any given day, they've never seen more than 1,000 active daily users.
"In late 2012, when I started up the Firefox for Metro team (I know that's not what Microsoft calls it anymore, but it remains how we talk about it in Mozilla), it looked like the next battleground for the Web," Nightingale wrote, later adding: "In the months since, as the team built and tested and refined the product, we've been watching Metro's adoption. From what we can see, it's pretty flat."
In the end, Mozilla feels that to ship a largely untested (and therefore buggy) product requiring a ton of follow up work would be to invest in a platform that users show little sign of adopting. And that's a cost it isn't willing to bear.
We've contacted Microsoft for comment on this and will update if we hear back.
[Update] A Microsoft spokesperson we talked to said the company is choosing not to comment on this one.