firefox

We’ve covered the journey of Firefox for Windows 8 since the project was announced in late 2012. Our first real look at the app came in February 2013 when we took the app for a spin and did a hands-on of Firefox for Windows 8. This past August the team at Mozilla announced that Firefox for Windows 8 would come out in December.

We later learned that the release was pushed back to 2014. A bunch of updates later and the app finally went into open beta last month. Turns out that was all for nothing. Mozilla is killing Firefox for Windows 8.

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Mozilla has today unveiled that its Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta is available for download and testing. The touch-friendly version of the popular web browser has been in development for some time, but finally we're beginning to see the app take shape. 

Should you be currently using a Windows 8 tablet or laptop with touch-screen support, we urge you to check out the Firefox beta and see what you think.

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For those of you who are fans of Mozilla’s Firefox web browser, there continues to be a long wait as we anticipate a Windows 8 version of the application. The company had planned to launch their Windows 8 browser almost two years ago in quarter one of 2012 – that never happened. According to a new revised schedule on the Mozilla’s development Wiki, the release is now slated for March 18 of this year.

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Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has come a long way from the days of IE6 and may even represent one of the best touch screen web browsers around. Other third party companies don’t want to be left out of the future though, and Firefox has been the strongest advocate as its beta version of Firefox for Windows 8 continues to be developed. Recently, a blog post by Mozilla’s Brian Bondy, revealed that one annoyance of using Internet Explorer on the desktop and modern interface, will be remedied.

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Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, has announced that a version of their web browser is now available for download and features optimization for Windows 8 tablets. It is important to note that the download is a preview and may contain bugs alongside its enhancements. This is after we learned that the company would be delaying the release until 2014.

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If you’re running a PC, odds are you’re using either Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox as your web browser. The trio are always going head-to-head for marketshare with new features and other innovations. Solid touch support is one area that both Chrome and Firefox aren’t doing so hot compared to Internet Explorer.

Which is why the tech community was pretty stoked when Mozilla announced their plans for Firefox as a Windows 8 style app. Unfortunately it looks like the launch of that application has been pushed back.

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Mozilla is looking to launch Firefox on Windows 8 with a Modern UI (Metro to you and I). Think of Internet Explorer, but a browser made by Mozilla and you get the idea. If you're a huge fan of the popular web browser and have been using the desktop version (or own a Windows RT tablet), fear not as you'll soon be able to enjoy all the features and functionality with Microsoft's simple look and feel. ETA? December 10th.

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Metrofy all the web with these browser extensions

File under fun. Like most of you, we spend a lot of time staring at some screens throughout the day. Typically our Windows Phone device and computer are the ones that get the most action. You love the look and feel of Windows Phone and get that same familiarity in Windows 8. But what about in the wild web? You don’t have much control over how a site looks. Or do you?

If you want to make your web browsing experience on the desktop a little more like Windows Phone check out the following extensions for Chrome. Yes, Chrome, mostly because Internet Explorer doesn’t support add-ons/extensions at the moment like Chrome does. We’ll be making Reddit and the general web a little more “Metro”.

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We haven’t been following the Mozilla Foundation’s progress too much on a Windows 8 browser—we just know that they were working on one.

So either we missed it or this is hot off the presses but they have released a “nightly build” of their Windows 8 App (Modern Style) Firefox browser for x86 devices. That means you Surface RT (ARM CPU) folk will have to wait a bit, but if you’re on full-fledged Windows 8, you may want to take a look.

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For the last few years, Mozilla, makers of the king of indie browsers Firefox, have been working on a new mobile OS called Boot2Gekko. The OS was built around HTML5 and CSS coding tools and it tended to look very much like Android and iOS—that is it was a collection of icons laid out in a grid with some notifications.

Today, in a somewhat surprising move they announced the re-naming of the OS to Firefox OS and they intend to put it on phones next year. In a press release, the company noted that it had deals with TCL Communication Technology (Alcatel) and ZTE to make the hardware for new devices with carrier partners Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor are all backing the initiative.

What caught our eye though was Sprint. The company who has the HTC Arrive, who claimed sales are miserable and were “thinking about” Windows Phone 8 but who were the only major US carrier to not publicly endorse it after the recent Summit.  This is the same company now throwing their hat in with Firefox OS which no one has even seen yet let alone knows what’s unique about it. Yet they can’t sign on with Microsoft and their one-two punch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8? Yeesh

In fairness, Firefox OS looks to be aiming for low cost handsets, the same market that Windows Phone Tango wants to grab but can't. Even Android evidently can't go as low as Firefox OS though OEMs are certainly trying (don't forget, Android licensees have to pay Microsoft to use Android). Both Google and Microsoft have publicly commented about the "$99" smartphone--referring to the cost to manufacture, not sell. Just today Microsoft reiterated the flexibility of WP8 and its ability scale up as well as down for low-cost hardware.

Early screenshots of Firefox OS

Although we have a soft-spot for the Mozilla Foundation and we think they have made the internet world a better place, we can’t help but wonder if this will go anywhere. Microsoft, with all of their money, large ecosystem, media tie-ins and strong partnership with Nokia are barely making waves. Most people have already written off RIM with Blackberry 10 and that’s a company with an established track record and valuable IP—what chance does Mozilla have with Firefox OS?

So 2013 will be an interesting year of the giants, Android and iOS with the juggernaut-in-waiting Microsoft dominating the smartphone market, while Blackberry 10, Firefox OS and Bada all fight for fourth place.

We’ll let the free market decide this one but we know where to place our bets. As for Sprint, if they don’t say something soon about Windows Phone 8 or we don’t start to hear rumblings of new WP8 devices, we seriously suggest you ditch them and look at T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T or US Cellular for your next-gen handset.

Does Mozilla have a chance for the prepaid/pay-as-you-go market or will Android and Windows Phone get there first? Should Microsoft be worried? Let us know in comments.

Source: Mozilla

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In an interview with OnSoftware, Jay Sullivan, VP of Products at Mozilla, insisted that Mozilla is not planning a version of Firefox for Windows Phone 7, but should we be bothered? Sure, Internet Explorer on the desktop has been continuously questioned/trashed by users, battered by EU to be uncoupled from Windows due to security concerns and more, but it's a fantastic implementation on WP7. 

At the moment we are focusing on Android in terms of the browser. For those other platforms we may do things like Firefox Home, so you can fire up any browser and get to your Firefox data. We’re not looking to bringing Firefox itself to Windows Phone 7 at this point.

Microsoft are working hard to bring the ancient browser up-to-date with current standards of speed, reliability, security and computability. Our Tim Ferrill wrote an article on why we should care about IE9 on WP7. So is Firefox really needed on the platform?

We've witnessed more and more readers voice opinions that they prefer IE even over the stock Android browser, which is no slouch. How about you? Do you want to see Firefox on Windows Phone 7, or are you content with IE and how Microsoft are developing it?

Source: OnSoftware , via: Softpedia

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Mozilla's Director of Developer Relations, Christopher Blizzard, sat down with Gizmodo to discuss Firefox's mobile browser (formerly known as Fennec). Blizzard took the opportunity to reaffirm the company isn't developing for Windows Phones. This isn't anything new but it's more so how Mr. Blizzard make the affirmation that caught our attention.

"[On Windows Phone 7] they said, 'You can use stuff in Silverlight if you want, but you have to come through our app store, and we get to veto.' We're not going to bother. They're gonna ship some version of IE, which is gonna be terrible..."

We will assume "they" is Microsoft.  In referring to Windows Mobile Blizzard said,

"We were going to do Windows Mobile because Windows Mobile really needed a good browser, but they shut down their platform.".

We can't blame for Mr. Blizzard presenting Mozilla's mobile browser as the best thing since sliced bread but there are good browsers out there for the Windows Phone. Skyfire and Opera come to mind.

So, can a Windows Phone 7 ever survive without Mozilla's mobile browser? Are the current crop of browsers on Windows Mobile that bad? Personally, I think Mr. Blizzard is well off the mark. How about you?

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If you already skinned your Windows desktop to look like Metro using Rainmeter, might as well complete the look and skin Firefox now too.

Although 'Metro 1.0' adds a little WP7 flare to your browser, don't expect anything drastic as skinning is sort of minimal. Still, it adds that little extra touch to the whole Metro themed PC and it's free, so why not?

We suppose copying is the highest form of flattery, so seeing as many in the design world want to emulate Metro's look is a good thing (remember all the iPhone skins years ago?).

Now if we can just get a skin for Chrome...

[via Download Squad]

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Color us surprised (not really).

The Mozilla team, who have been talking about a mobile browser for Windows Mobile since January 2008, have at least temporarily pulled the plug on Mobile Firefox aka Fennec for Windows Mobile 6.5 and any future iterations e.g. Phone 7 Series.

They cite the obvious changing landscape between the two platforms and the "closed" nature of WP7s as reasons for the "hold" on development. They forgot to mention the slow-as-molasses part.

While we here at WMExperts have always been fond of the promise of a Mobile Firefox, we've been more impressed with the delivery of such a product from Opera Mobile, who have routinely developed and improved upon the browsing experience without fanfare, hype, "milestones" or the chaos that often results from an open source attempt.

Sure, Mobile Firefox could have been a good thing, but it's been 2 years since Mozilla committed themselves to a serious mobile browser. Two years! To which we reply with, "Sorry we don't have time to wait, we're moving on." Microsoft built a whole mobile OS within the last year whereas Mozilla can't get us decent milestones for their browser. 

Sorry fellas, we would have missed you a year ago had you succeeded. But now, it's hard to miss vaporware.

[via Techie Buzz]

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One of the main reasons many of us love Firefox is for the plugin support--there's everything from Better Gmail to Omnibar to SkipScreen, all of which fix the many pitfalls of the internet.

So it's with great excitement that we read AdBlock Plus will work with Firefox's new mobile browser Fennec (which is still in early development). 

For those who don't know, AdBlock Plus is a plugin that downloads a database of ads to block while you are surfing the internet.  In turn, web pages are less cluttered and more importantly for those with slow connections or who are mobile, it allows pages to load faster.  For every ad that you see, that is one more thing to download and one more server for your device to connect to, so reducing that increases speed.  Very cool.

Of course there are consequences to blocking ads.  Specifically you are hurting much needed revenue for websites, cutting off their life blood. So we suggest you selectively use AdBlock Plus on sites you visit, disabling it for those you support.  In other words, we ask you, nay beg you oh wise internet surfers, to not use it on WMExperts as you'll deprive some of us that morning cup of coffee and you know, would have to close shop.  Thaaaaanks!

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The folks at Mozilla have released the Alpha 3 build of Fennec, aka the mobile Firefox browser.

Much-improved, says Mozilla's Brad Lassey (read our early Q&A with him) are start-up times, better panning, and some support for phones other than the HTC Touch Pro.

Go get the CAB file here, and if out there's running a brand-spanking new Touch Pro 2, let us know how it looks on there. (And remember, you can play with the Fennec lastest desktop emulator here.)

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Mozilla VP talks Firefox mobile

We're still eagerly anticipating the release of the mobile Firefox browser, and the boys and girls at Mozilla are hard at work. Vice President Jay Sullivan recently talked with Lifehacker about plans in the mobile space.

"What we're seeing happen in mobile is just what we've been seeing on the desktop for the last five years. That's migrating from more client-heavy applications to more web-based applications. Fennec is built on the latest version of our browser engine, and has support for offline storage and things called web workers, which enables threaded applications that can run faster. All these technologies make it possible to build a first-class, HTML5-based application."

And in case you missed it, we also had our own interview with Firefox mobile's Brad Lassey some time ago.

Lifehacker: Mozilla VP on What Firefox Mobile Means for Your Phone

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Firefox mobile browser hits Alpha 2

When Firefox released the first Alpha build of its mobile browser -- aka Fennec -- in May, it left a lot of you underwhelemed. Hey, it was an Alpha build. Don't say we (and Mozilla) didn't warn you. But work has been progressing, and Mozilla just released the Alpha 2 build. Here's what's new in Alpha 2: [via Pavlov's blog]

  • Improved panning performance
  • Newly designed theme
  • JavaScript error console is now built in
  • Improved add-on support
  • Numerous bug fixes
  • Improved UI polish

As per the usual, Mozilla is developing for the HTC Touch Pro. So back up your info, and get to testing. Here's the download link. (Don't have a Touch Pro? Try out the desktop versions.) And let us know in the comments how things look.

Update: Here's one fairly big known bug worth noting:

Allow panning/scrolling in iframes - Websites that display large amounts of content in IFrames, including Google Mail and Reader, will be very hard, if not impossible, to use.

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Work on the Firefox mobile browser — aka Fennec — has been marching steadily ahead, and the team has released an official Alpha build. The highlights:

  • New Add-Ons Manager
  • New Downloads Manager
  • New CSS based theme
  • TraceMonkey, Mozilla's new JavaScript engine
  • jemalloc, the memory management library used by Mozillla.
  • Faster application start-up time
  • Faster panning
  • Faster zooming
  • Initial implementation of bookmark folders and bookmark editing

Just like with the pre-Alpha and nightly build versions, this was built and tested on an HTC Touch Pro, so there's where you're likely to have the most success. That said, this is Alpha, and bugs are likely.

Says Mozilla's Brad Lassey (read our interview with him here) in his blog:

It is not yet recommended to use this release for daily browsing tasks. Certain performance problems will become immediately apparent to the user. Panning has a noticeable delay between the user first touching the page and the page moving. We are certain that other less obvious bugs exist and we invite you to help bring them to light. You can find detailed information on how to file a good bug in bugzilla , our bug tracking system, here .

So remember, folks. This isn't a finished version, but a pretty big step in the process. Get your download on here (or here directly from your phone), and let us know in the comments how it works for you.

Update: Video of the Alpha release after the break.

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The feature list for the Firefox mobile browser is steadily growing. In addition to the (soon-to-be) standard Firefox 3.5 engine, we're also expecting to see:

  • Weave: The all-remembering password/bookmark/tab/add-on/everything sync feature.
  • Geolocation: Your browser can tell where you are.
  • Gesture browsing: Possibly. We've seen a cool demonstration.

And now, we see a prototype that could bring automatic Web site logins to the mobile and desktop browsers via Weave sync. It'll handle OpenID, as well as normal username/password logins.

Of course, all of this is still in the early stages, and work on the Firefox mobile browser continues. Check out the demo video of the auto log-in.

Mozilla Labs blog via Lifehacker

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