Mozilla is finally getting close to releasing a Metro version of its Firefox browser that will run on Windows RT as well as the tablet-side of Windows 8. The touch flavor of the app will arrive on December 10 along with Firefox 26.

Firefox 23 was released on August 6. Firefox 24 is slated for a September release and Firefox 25, which will come with a major design overhaul, is expected in October.

As first noted by Computerworld, Mozilla’s planning documents show the first Metro release still has to go through the following steps:

  • Merge to Aurora 26 on September 16, 2013 during Iteration #15.
  • Iterations #15 and #16 will be completed on mozilla-aurora, concluding all Preview Release work.
  • Iteration #17, still on Aurora, will be used to clean up any remaining carry-over and polish work.
  • Merge to Beta at the conclusion of Iteration #17 on October 28, 2013, making Metro Firefox available to our Beta audience.
  • Push to Release on December 10 with Firefox 26 at the conclusion of Iteration #20.

Mozilla first noted a Metro version of Firefox was coming back in February 2012 and then revealed a prototype in April 2012. The company then showed off a pre-release of Firefox for Windows 8 in October 2012 and offered a Nightly build in February 2013.

Since Nightly builds graduate to Firefox’s Aurora channel after six weeks or so, we calculated at the time that the Metro version would go through the beta and release channels by May or June. We noted the process could take longer if testing pushed things back, and clearly that’s what happened. It’s frankly ridiculous that Firefox Metro will be available more than a year after Windows 8 is ready, and even after Windows 8.1 is out.

That’s assuming, of course, that there won’t be more delays. Given what we’ve seen so far, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a final Metro version arrive in 2014.

Top Image Credit: Andreas Krappweis