Mozilla is testing a Firefox version on the Microsoft Store, but it's not available for users yet
Mozilla Firefox has been listed on the Microsoft Store. But, before you get excited, I should tell you that you, the app is not available for users just yet (only those with a code to unlock the application).
Here's the listing, instead of the "Get" option, the button says you need to redeem a code to download the browser. A text above it reads, "Mozilla Firefox is currently not available."
The app does not appear in the search results if you look it up in the Store. Redditors were quick with the jokes about Mozilla running out of stock for the digital download, and supply chain issues. A Firefox developer chimed in the thread, to confirm that the Firefox Microsoft Store version is in the internal testing phase right now, and hence not available to the public.
There are a few issues filed on Bugzilla related to this. (1, 2, and 3). According to the bug-related discussions, the Firefox app will use the same user profile folder as the normal standalone browser. That will be good for users who can install the Store app, and switch to it, without losing their browsing history, extensions and other data.
Some users were able to install the Store version, and say that it can exist alongside the desktop version. But, you'll only be able to run one of those at a time.
Unlike Linux and macOS which ship with app stores that are handy to update programs, Windows users have to manually keep an eye out for updates, or use the app's built-in update checker. I use RSS Feeds to make this a little simpler. That's why I think having Firefox on the Microsoft Store is a good thing, timely updates with security fixes, that will be delivered automatically. And it would be easier for the layman to get the correct version of the browser, instead of obtaining a potentially malware-ridden one. Plus, putting it on the Store gives an additional way for users to download Firefox, it could be another way of drawing new users to it.
The minimum requirements on the Firefox Store listing says that users will need to be on Windows 10 version 17763.0 or higher. It is a 64-bit app. More importantly, this confirms that the app won't be exclusive to Windows 11. Speaking of which, the new OS allows developers to upload different types of apps, including Win32, .NET, UWP, Xamarin, Electron, React Native, Java and Progressive Web Apps. But there are some limitations to the other types, especially Win32, because the Store will not allow the apps to be updated. One of the discussions of Bugzilla reveals that the Firefox Microsoft Store version is an MSIX package. This means users will get automatic updates for the browser delivered through the Store app.
Windows 11's Microsoft Store is a lot better than Windows 10's, hopefully the experience will get better once more developers bring their wares to the table.
Oh, and we can't forget the meme. Soon, you will no longer need Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge to download Firefox.
Image courtesy: Reddit
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