Mozilla's Brian Bondy has provided an update on Firefox for Windows 8 Metro, throwing up a few screenshots in the process. Based on his report, it doesn't seem that the browser will make its 2Q12 release, as there are still some unresolved design questions and "a ton of platform integration work to do."
Still, the team has a working browser up and running in Microsoft's blocky OS. The end user can navigate the web, create tabs, bookmark pages, build history, retain cache, adjust preferences, and more. It also looks and feels like the Android browser.
"Our prototype in its current form is based on the Fennec XUL code," Bondy writes. "We used to use Fennec XUL on Android, but changed to a Native UI on Android for startup performance reasons. We haven't seen the same types of startup performance problems we've had on Android yet, even on VMs."
According to the images, the browser's UI is more Android-like than Metro because Metro specific UI guidelines and Mozilla UX work feedback has not begun, but hopefully that should be changing soon. Right now the team is writing up a proposal on how they should proceed with the Metro work which will be posted here.
"If we are able to keep using Fennec XUL we'll be ahead of schedule, but I anticipate some serious discussions once that is posted," he reports. "Since our prototype is based on Fennec we have a multi-process capable browser for free. Currently there is only one content process, but I believe the longer term plans are to increase that."
The Alpha and Beta version of Firefox for Windows 8 Metro are now listed as "2H," or rather the second half of 2012. The Alpha will prove the installation path and basic browsing features. The Beta will be feature complete for a 1.0-capability product, the roadmap states.