Mozilla Scraps Firefox Metro Over Flat Adoption Rate

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.

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • red77star
    Smart decision
  • ethanolson
    How is it not possible to have a traditional Windows program not feed a Metro app? I'd think that all you'd need is a Metro portal into the Desktop app. What am I missing here?
  • AndrewMD
    most people using metro apps are not going to download another browser to surf the web... Firefox in general is not in the same place it was back in the day. Chrome browser has taken care of the marketshare that Firefox once had....
  • HombreGranJefe
    I would've used it if I knew it ******* existed. Thanks Firefox. You ****** this up, not us or MS. I hope someone provides a better browser solution than IE or MS ads an ad-blocker to it. Then I'd be happy.
  • K2N hater
    I couldn't care less about metro especially for web browsing but the fact is firefox/aurora are nowhere as touch-friendly as IE/Google.
  • sykozis
    Didn't even know there was a version of Firefox for Metro.... Maybe the marketing team at Mozilla should learn to do their jobs properly....If you go to the settings menu in Chrome and select "Relaunch Chrome in Windows 8 mode" you essentially get ChromeOS.....running in Windows.
  • ta152h
    I have Windows 8.1, and Metro is useless. You can't really use it, it's horrible. It's causing the collapse of Microsoft, even though the OS is better than Windows 7 except for the ridiculous Metro nonsense. Basically, the way you use 8.1 is to make it act like Metro doesn't exist. Touch screens are pretty lame. It's slower than a mouse, and you get the screen dirty. Leave it for tablets. For real machines, forget it. Firefox made the right choice. Metro is dying, not growing. The market has decided. Firefox just went along with that decision.
  • Nolonar
    Weird... last I heard, they're still working on Firefox OS. The low adoption rate can't be their true reason for dropping this.
  • USAFRet
    12904647 said:
    I would've used it if I knew it ******* existed. Thanks Firefox. You ****** this up, not us or MS. I hope someone provides a better browser solution than IE or MS ads an ad-blocker to it. Then I'd be happy.

    Tone down the language, please.
  • marclee37
    i have no idea what is firefox metro.i would hope firefox to amend itself to have better support on win8. when on touch screen, the IE can easily zoom in zoom out with fingers, firefox can't do it yet. so as many other open source software. touch is the new and must-go trend, it is much more intuitive in many cases, especially on sub 11" the other article- it said the default image viewer on win8 has its shortcoming, but its biggest advantage is its easy zooming capabilities. depends on situation i would choose the right software to use.