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?


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Gonzo said on August 16, 2012 at 5:40 am

    I thought you were telling people Firefox won’t be available on Windows 8. Instead of saying “Firefox Metro app” you had to say “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”. That is the explanation of a word that no longer exists… LOL.

    It would be nice if we had a word to differentiate between applications written for Win32 API and WinRT API on the Windows 8 operating system.

    Renaming Metro to “Windows 8” is not just confusing but not well thought out. Will it still be called that when Windows 9 is released? Are Windows RT Tablets running Windows 8 apps?? How about when Windows Phone 8 comes out? This is more than a little confusing!

    FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) is what Windows 8 has created. You think it’s bad now wait until the sales guy has to explain all this to the non technical perspective customer. I hope they’re paid by the hour!!

    1. ilev said on August 16, 2012 at 9:45 am

      It is ok , according to Microsoft, to use “metro app”.

      A paragraph on “Naming your app” Dev Center site, that stated :

      “Make sure your app name doesn’t include the word metro. Apps with a name that includes the word metro will fail certification and won’t be listed in the Windows Store.”

      has been omitted !!

  2. Flavious said on August 16, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Chrome now uses pepper plugin api with flash, so it is even more secure than the sandbox before.

    Also I do believe, that having Chrome and IE 10 having flash built in is an advantage in terms of metro browser. I recently turned on the plugin opt in for Firefox and I was surprised and annoyed at how much web content is flash. As much as I love Firefox, functionality comes first.

    1. DanTe said on August 16, 2012 at 4:48 am

      Go to line 187 of the PPAPI API. Memory Corruption. Sounds familiar?

  3. Zlip said on August 16, 2012 at 4:23 am

    I don’t have Windows 8 installed right now but if you wanted to try Metro progressed browser, I suggest you to download “elm” branch tinderbox build since on in that branch Metro Work is in progress.

  4. DanTe said on August 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I would be extremely leery of any software, especially browsers, that incorporates security cancelling software like Adobe (Flash, Reader, et al) within their codes. This just makes the browsers totally useless from a security standpoint. One might as well have embed Zeus within the browser just to get it over with.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.