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Mozilla planning a Windows 8 Metro version of Firefox

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Mozilla reveals that it is planning to build a Metro version of its Firefox browser for Windows 8.

Firefox Windows 8 Metro
Firefox Windows 8 Metro

Mozilla revealed this week that it plans to create a Metro style version of Firefox for Windows 8. The application will be based on the open source Gecko layout engine and will take advantage of the full screen touch enhancements of Microsoft's new Windows 8 Metro style apps, alongside support for the Awesomebar, tabs, and common navigation controls.

Mozilla is readying a technology proof of concept for Q2 2012, supporting the three "snap" states of the Windows 8 interface, and contracts support — a way to allow Firefox Metro to share information outside of the browser with other Windows 8 third-party apps. Mozilla says it is also toying with the idea of a live tile for the Start Screen with user-centric data that updates when the browser is not in use, a particular feature that is unique to the new Metro Windows 8 interface.

Microsoft has built its own Metro Internet Explorer 10 into the heart of Windows 8, but the company will not support browser plugins like Adobe's Flash player. It is not clear whether third party browsers could support Flash in a limited form, but Windows browser developers will need to find something unique to tempt users away from the built-in browser in the Metro environment.