Firefox Metro for Windows 8 Hits the Aurora Channel

Pulkit Chandna

Expected to hit the release channel in late January

Over the weekend, Mozilla pushed a new build of Firefox to the Aurora channel. Built from the ground up for Microsoft’s Windows 8 Modern UI, this pre-beta build brings with it, among other things, a tile-based Firefox Start experience.

This touch-friendly Firefox build also supports Windows 8 touch and swipe gestures, Snapped and Fill views, and Windows Share integration, the open-source outfit said in a blog post Saturday. While the new interface is said to be more “streamlined, modern and beautiful”, not a lot has changed under the hood.

“Because this new version of Firefox uses the same powerful Gecko rendering engine as in Firefox desktop, there’s also support for WebGL for compelling 3D graphics and asm.js which supercharges JavaScript in the browser, allowing developers to port high performance C++ games to the Web,” Mozilla wrote in the blog post. “ Hardware accelerated full HTML5 video is also supported, including open video formats like WebM and proprietary formats such as H.264.”

“To test it out, first make sure that Firefox Aurora is your Windows 8 default browser. Then visit the Windows Start screen (if you’re on Windows 8) to locate the Firefox Aurora tile. Visit the All Apps screen if you’re on Windows 8.1 where you can locate the Firefox Aurora tile and pin it to the Windows Start screen.”

Despite having been under development for well over a year now, Firefox Metro is still a fair way from general availability, which Mozilla recently pushed back to late January, 2014 on account of slower-than-expected development.

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