Mozilla has begun development for a Metro version of their Firefox web browser, the company has announced. Development of the new browser version began on Monday of last week. There is currently no projected timeline for the browser’s release.
Developing a Windows 8-compatible version of Firefox is not in itself terribly difficult. The problem comes in making it compatible with the new Metro user interface that is a key feature of Windows 8. Metro, which replaces the traditional Windows Start menu with a smartphone/tablet-like paned interface. While Windows 8 supports traditional desktop applications just like those found in previous versions of Windows, applications can also be run from within Metro. It seems, however, that creating an application that will run in both environments – as a desktop app and a Metro app – presents significant difficulties.
Mozilla’s blog post details some of the challenges faced by the developers who are working on the project. As noted above, there is currently no timeline for the browser’s release. Of course, the release date for Windows 8 is also not yet known. It remains to be seen whether Mozilla can get Firefox for Metro ready in time to launch alongside Windows 8, or if Firefox users will have to wait awhile for their preferred browser.