Mozilla has announced it has shelved development of Firefox ‘Metro’, a version of the browser for the modern Windows 8 interface.
The Windows 8 edition of Firefox, with more touch friendly controls and a design that fitted the new Microsoft interface was originally slated for December 2013, but has been repeatedly delayed. The announcement of its cancellation comes as a surprise, as the browser was already well developed, and leaves Firefox out of the race on Windows 8 (Chrome was released in 2012).
Johnathan Nightingale, VP Firefox, explained that,
On any given day we have, for instance, millions of people testing pre-release versions of Firefox desktop, but we’ve never seen more than 1000 active daily users in the Metro environment.
That is a tiny number, even for a test channel.
Calling uptake of the modern UI ‘flat’, he explained that Mozilla doesn’t have the resources to develop for every platform, and since Windows 8’s release, they have realized that there are not enough users to make developing Firefox ‘Metro’ worthwhile. Unfortunately we don’t have statistics on the other modern interface-style browsers, Internet Explorer and Chrome, so can’t say whether they have similarly weak user numbers.
The upcoming ‘Australis’ redesign of Firefox, in any case, will make the browser more touch friendly, but alongside Mozilla’s recent complaints about why they aren’t on iOS it does seem that the company will continue to lose ground to Google’s Chrome, which is available on almost all platforms.
Source: Mozilla Blog