Mozilla has announced that it hopes to have a Metro-themed version of the Firefox browser ready for testing by the second quarter.
In what is sure to be a growing trend for software companies as we near the launch of the next iteration of Windows, Mozilla updated its product roadmap over the weekend with some information about where the company is headed when it comes to Windows 8.
Windows 8 contains two application environments, “Classic” and “Metro”. Classic is very similar to the Windows 7 environment at this time, it requires a simple evolution of the current Firefox Windows product. Metro is an entirely new environment and requires a new Firefox front end and system integration points.
The feature goal here is a new Gecko based browser built for and integrated with the Metro environment.
Mozilla is hoping to have a working version out by the second quarter of this year, but that hinges on when the Consumer Preview, which should be released at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks, is made available to everyone.
The new version of Firefox is going to take some work due to the way the Metro interface works as all applications will now be full-screen and will need to talk with other programs on a more regular basis. Windows 8 is also going to be using Microsoft’s Silverlight programming system and XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language), both of which are not commonly found elsewhere.
Mozilla has a long road ahead of it, but if it wants to keep up its title as the second most popular browser in the world, it will need to be ready for the official launch of Windows 8 this fall. With Google’s Chrome quickly rising in third place, and coming closer and closer, a delay of releasing for the next big operating system could be quite devastating.