Mozilla shuts down Firefox Metro project for Windows 8 touchscreen devices

Jeremiah Yap – Fourth Estate Cooperative Writer

San Francisco, CA, United States (4E) – It seems Microsoft faces another challenge with its Windows 8 mobile. Mozilla announced that it would end work on the Metro version of Firefox for Windows 8 tablets. Microsoft users will still be able to use the Firefox browser in a desktop environment because the Firefox Metro web browser was designed for Windows 8 touchscreen devices.

“In the months since, as the team built and tested and refined the product, we’ve been watching Metro’s adoption. From what we can see, it’s pretty flat. 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,” Firefox VP Johnathan Nightingale said on the company’s official blog.

The Firefox Metro will no longer appear in the Windows 8 app. The only browser that works well with Windows 8 touchscreen devices is Google’s Chrome browser, which has a Windows 8 mode.

Mozilla can still release Metro in the future just in case demand and interest from consumers catch on. The company will still keep the Metro app code and can release the untested version of Metro if they choose to.

But Nightingale isn’t keen on doing so.

“When I talk about the need to pick our battles, this feels like a bad one to pick: significant investment and low impact,” he added.

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