Saturday 6 October 2012

Mozilla previews Firefox Metro for Windows 8

In the past few days, Microsoft has released a range of updates to its existing software to keep them fresh for the Windows 8 launch scheduled for October 26, 2012. It appears that Mozilla too wants to cash in on the action, and has announced a Metro Preview for Windows 8.

Mozilla has released a statement, which says that the preview marks the beginning of Mozilla community testing for the Firefox Metro browser designed from the ground up for Windows 8.

Commenting on the preview, Mozilla states, “Earlier this year, we began development on a version of Firefox that runs on x86 Windows 8. This version of Firefox runs in both the Windows 8 “classic Desktop” environment, and in the new “Metro” environment. We’ve made a lot of progress since that first development update. We’re excited to share it with you and we’re looking forward to your feedback.”

Those running the RTM release of Windows 8, can now download a nightly build of Mozilla Firefox from the Elm development branch and start testing it. Elm is the experimental repository where most of Mozilla’s Metro development work has been happening. This repository produces nightly builds such as the Firefox Nightly channel. Once installed, these builds self-update so that a user can track Metro Firefox development.

The preview includes a new Metro style Firefox Start page, support for Firefox Sync, Metro touch and swipe gestures, integration with Windows 8 'Charms', and an Australis interface that Mozilla claims is streamlined, modern, and beautiful. In the next few months Mozilla will add more features, tightening up Windows integration, improving performance and responsiveness, and finishing up all the necessary work to deliver a first class Firefox experience for Windows 8.

Mozilla end its announcement by stating that since this is an early preview, there may be bugs and missing features. It wants users to share their feedback on any bugs found.

The window to upgrade to the next version of Microsoft's computer operating system is now open.

Microsoft began accepting pre-orders for Windows 8 in August. The new operating system won't be delivered until October 26. People who own a personal computer running earlier versions of Windows can buy the revamped system for $14.99 to $39.99.

The lower price is being offered to PC owners who have bought a machine powered by Windows 7 since June 2. Everyone else with a Windows-based computer will have to pay the higher price if they want to upgrade.

The chance to upgrade at these prices expires Jan. 31.

Microsoft designed Windows 8 so it can power both traditional PCs and tablet computers in response to the iPad's popularity.

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