If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that Microsoft's upcoming operating system Windows 8 will ship with two different interfaces. First a classic interface that is more or less identical to what current Windows users are working with, and the new Metro user interface that is more tablet centric and minimalistic.
You cannot just use desktop applications in the Metro interface and the other way round, which means that you may also access two different versions of the same application depending on the interface you are in. A special version of Internet Explorer 10 has been designed for the Metro UI that is in many regards fundamentally different from the classic desktop version of the browser. Among the changes are a minimalistic interface, the lack of browser plugins or the fullscreen mode.
Mozilla has published two new Wiki pages that detail how the company intents to cope with the changing design requirements.
The Windows 8 wiki describes that Mozilla plans to release a Windows 8 Metro-specific Firefox browser, to complement the classic version of the browser. This Metro-specific version would be accessible on Windows 8's Metro user interface only.
The wiki page describes some of the challenges that the developers face at this point in the planning stage:
The second Wiki page, Windows 8 Integration, highlights additional restrictions or challenges:
It appears as if Mozilla is currently in an information gathering stage to find out if and how they can create a Metro UI version of the Firefox web browser.
No release related information are provided on the two wiki pages. It is however likely that we won't see alpha or beta versions before the release of the Windows 8 Release Candidate, or maybe even later.
There is a lot of uncertainty. Users for instance might want to know if they can use their extensions in the Metro UI version of the browser, or if that would be prevented somehow.
Windows 8 users with the intention to use Metro UI will surely welcome options to switch the default interface browser.
A Firefox Metro UI version, would that be something that you are interested in? Or do you think that Mozilla should concentrate development on the desktop version of the browser?
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