Feeds

Firefox's touchy-feeling Windows 8 makeover now in beta

Nearly two years in the making, it's almost ready to roll

Build a business case: developing custom apps

After a long development process, a beta version of the Firefox web browser that offers support for Windows 8's touch-centric UI mode is now available.

"This touch-friendly, tile-based Firefox is optimized for Microsoft's Windows 8 Modern UI and designed to ensure users get the best Firefox browsing experience possible on their Windows 8 tablets, touch-screen laptops and other compatible devices," the Mozilla Foundation said in a blog post announcing the release.

Mozilla has been promising a version of Firefox for The Interface Formerly Known As Metro (TIFKAM) since 2012, but the project has met with repeated delays.

Last August we were told it would appear on December 10, but that date came and went without mention of the project.

The version that's available now still isn't finished, either, but its "beta" status indicates that Mozilla thinks the TIFKAM code is now stable and usable enough to be tested by a larger audience. (Earlier versions were from Mozilla's bleeding-edge Aurora build channel and were only considered experimental.)

Screenshot of Firefox for Windows 8 Touch

Firefox's latest beta version hopes to give Internet Explorer 11 a run for its money on Windows 8

Among the TIFKAM features in this release are support for both full-screen and partial-screen views in Windows 8.1; a UI based on large tiles that are easy for even fat fingers to touch; and support for the Share Charm, for sharing web content with social networks.

You can download the beta from Mozilla's website, here. Be aware, though, that the installer will "upgrade" any existing version of Firefox on your machine. The beta cannot be installed alongside an earlier version.

Also, for obscure reasons, Windows 8.x only allows one browser to run in TIFKAM mode on any given machine. To test Firefox's new Windows 8 features, you'll first need to make Firefox the default browser using the Default Programs control panel. With that done, you should be able to choose "Relaunch in Firefox for Windows 8 Touch" from the main Firefox menu. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.