This post should not be a surprise, but it is certainly something nice. Firefox will not only come to Windows 8, it will do so in style. News broke today that a version of Firefox is being compiled that will meet the ‘Metro’ design aesthetic head on, meaning that the browser will give Internet Explorer a run for its cachet on its home turf.
We expect every browser to have a version that jives with Windows 8’s new capabilities in the future, but to have Firefox preparing something now, before the beta of the operating system is out, is fun; it shows that despite questions of about potential consumer adoption, major platforms are accepting Windows 8 as essentially inevitable.
Internet Explorer 10 will ship with Windows 8. The browser, an evolutionary step forward after the radical changes of Internet Explorer 9, also contains a graphical user interface that is designed to work well with touch.
From its MozillaWiki page, this is what is being cooked:
The feature goal here is a new Gecko based browser built for and integrated with the Metro environment. Firefox on Metro, like all other Metro apps will be full screen, focused on touch interactions, and connected to the rest of the Metro environment through Windows 8 contracts.
Firefox on Metro will bring all of the Gecko capabilities to this new environment and the assumption is that we’ll be able to run as a Medium integrity app so we can access all of the win32 Firefox Gecko libraries avoiding a port to the new WinRT API for the bulk of our code. (Though we will need to have a pan and zoom capability for content.)
Given that, it appears that what I’m going to call Firefox-on-Metro will be a fully native experience. When we get our hands on an early build, we’ll make sure that you can play with it as well. For now, keep your head down, we’ll have a beta quite soon.