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Mozilla scraps Windows Metro version of Firefox

No Firefox for TIFKAM

Mozilla scraps Windows Metro version of Firefox

By Katie Collins | Wired

Mozilla has announced it is scrapping Firefox for Windows Metro before its release, due to lack of interest in the Windows 8 platform. Despite working on the software since 2012, Mozilla has said it will now focus its efforts elsewhere.

In a blog post published last week, vice president of Firefox Johnathan Nightingale wrote that while the team working on Firefox 1.0 for Metro was “solid”, releasing the software “would be a mistake”.

In the post Nightingale goes on to say that when Mozilla initially started working on the project, Metro looked like it would be the “next battleground web”, but in reality the adoption of Metro has been “pretty flat”. Metro, which has actually now been renamed “Modern UI”, is the typography-based design language used by Microsoft in several products, including Xbox, Outlook, Windows Phone and Windows 8. In the context of Windows 8, Metro has been poorly received by users and critics, and uptake has indeed been poor.

It’s an admission by Mozilla that the company backed the wrong horse although, as Nightingale explains it, “Windows is a massive ecosystem and Microsoft pushes its new platforms hard.” It might seem strange to back out at this stage given that the product was so close to release, but it’s actually a wise call given the amount of future work Firefox for Metro would demand.

When testing new versions of Firefox, Mozilla regularly sees millions of people simultaneously taking part in beta testing of new browser versions, but when testing the Metro version, the company has noticed that there have never been more than 1,000 active users a day. If Firefox for Windows Metro was shipped, it would be buggy and would require significant follow-up work from engineers due to lack of beta testing.

“To ship it without doing that follow-up work is not an option. If we release a product, we maintain it through end of life. When I talk about the need to pick our battles, this feels like a bad one to pick: significant investment and low impact,” says Nightingale.

He adds that pulling the product is still a risk, as Metro still could take off. If it does, he says, Mozilla will have fallen behind, but the work the team has already put into the code “will live on”. For now though, Mozilla will focus its efforts in places where it “can reach more people”.


Read the full article at Wired

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