Firefox for Windows 8 making progress, no Flash in sight

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 15, 2012
Updated • Feb 15, 2013
Firefox, Windows 8

Okay so Mozilla is moving ahead with Firefox as an app that you can run on Windows 8's start page just like any other app you can install from the store. The developers currently aim for a first release preview in this quarter of the year, and a beta release in the fourth. This alone indicates that the Firefox app will not be ready when the new Microsoft operating system gets released come October 26.

Brian Bondy's latest report highlights some of the recent additions and improvements that the team implemented into the Firefox app for Windows 8. Among the improvements are the inclusion of the pdf.js PDF viewer that works without plugin, better handling of mouse input, various keyboard shortcut support and other minor feature additions to the browser.

The initial release will not support add-ons, one of the browser's strongest selling points. But support will be added to a later version, so that all add-ons that support the Add-on SDK will be compatible with the app version of the Firefox browser. The change has no impact on the desktop version of Firefox.

The Firefox app will support syncing data with the desktop interface, although it is not clear at this point in time what you will be able to synchronize. The team is currently waiting for a single bug to be completed before the builds are merged with Mozilla-Central.

Mozilla has not yet addressed the Flash issue as I'd like to call it. Both app versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 and Google Chrome support Flash natively, giving them an edge over browser apps that do not. While that may not be a deciding factor for all Windows 8 users, especially since it usually just takes a click to switch to the desktop version, missing Flash support could irritate users who have made Firefox the default browser on the system. If their favorite sites stop working because of it, it may lead to users switching to another browser that does not have that issue. It is certainly too early to tell how big of an issue that will become.

Do you think that the disadvantage could affect the browser's market share as a whole?


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