Mozilla has revealed that it is working on a new version of Firefox which will work with the new Metro-style interface of Windows 8.
When Windows 8 launches later this year it will comprise of two application environments: Classic and Metro. Classic is very similar to the Windows 7 environment we are all used to and getting Firefox working on this will require “a simple evolution” of the current version.
The Metro version however will require a complete new front end and system integration points. “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,” Mozilla said in a blog post on the matter.
Metro Firefox will support three “snap states” - full-screen, 1/6-screen and 5/6-screen modes - with the UI adjusting to show the most relevant content for each size. There is also the possibility of a live tile to let users see updates directly from the Start screen.
The blog also warns that for this to work, Microsoft will need to play ball: “This proposal depends on Microsoft providing the same capabilities for Firefox as it does for IE – running at the Medium level integrity process that allows us the full use of the Win32 API and what we need from Metro, or a set of APIs that allow Mozilla to port Gecko to the WinRT.”
Metro Firefox will be needed if Mozilla is not going to be shut out of the Windows on ARM platform which the company outlined only last week and is mainly aimed at the tablet market. You looking forward to using Metro-style Firefox on your Windows 8 tablet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.