Firefox creator Mozilla are working on a metro version of the popular browser
IE 10 won’t be the only metro browser, as Firefox goes under a redesign
Internet Explorer 10 has taken a radical shift from its previous versions in Windows 8, as the new Metro UI takes the browser to full screen while providing excellent performance. However, news suggests that IE 10 won’t be the only metro-heavy browser in Windows 8: Firefox will be available in Windows 8 too.
Developer Brian R. Bondy made the announcement, with the company beginning work on the new version. What’s also been revealed is that there will be a new section for browser, it seems, with Windows 8 categorising them as “Metro style enabled desktop browsers.” The reason that this new category is being created is because browsers, and not just Firefox, will be allowed to go metro.
This third category will go alongside the other two: one for the Windows 7-esque environment and one for new, Windows 8 apps.
Microsoft outline guidelines
Microsoft have also released a .docx file called “Developing a Metro style enabled desktop browser.” The document explains that the browsers will work in both sides of the OS, suggesting that there will be a Metro and non-Metro version (which Internet Explorer currently does).
Microsoft also says the Metro version of the app will only work if users set the program as the default web browser. While this may seem a little strange, Microsoft claims enforcing this will provide a consistent user experience resulting in metro apps being opened in metro browsers. It has also been confirmed that these users won’t be coming to the store, but users will be getting them from the traditional ways of downloading.
The document also highlights some of the benefits for developers who will be building browsers for Windows 8. First, they will be able to render HTML5 through the Win32 APIs while maintaining the Metro aesthetic. Microsoft also want developers to build browsers so that they can open files in both versions of Windows 8, again enforcing a consistent user experience. For example, Microsoft don’t want users opening a link in Outlook 15 and getting forced out of the Metro version of the browser.
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is out. Full release is expected this year.