Mozilla has brought down the curtain on Firefox for Windows 8 Touch , Johnathan Nightingale, Vice President of Firefox, announced Friday. The decision is particularly surprising as the first stable build of the touch-friendly browser, which had been under development since 2012 , was due out soon.
Mozilla was forced to take this drastic step after the Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta, released last month, failed to gain any semblance of momentum. According to Nightingale, the
response to the beta was so poor that it never witnessed “more than 1000 active daily users.”
This is in stark contrast to pre-release builds meant for the desktop proper, which tend to attract millions of testers on a daily basis.
“This leaves us with a hard choice. We could ship it, but it means doing so without much real-world testing. That’s going to mean lots of bugs discovered in the field, requiring a lot of follow up engineering, design, and QA effort,” Nightingale wrote in a blog post. “To ship it without doing that follow up work is not an option. If we release a product, we maintain it through end of life. When I talk about the need to pick our battles, this feels like a bad one to pick: significant investment and low impact.”
“Instead, we pull it. This opens up the risk that Metro might take off tomorrow and we’d have to scramble to catch back up, but that’s a better risk for us to take than the real costs of investment in a platform our users have shown little sign of adopting. The code will live on – many of us feel a great attachment to the product regardless of its market – but we’ll focus our efforts in places where we can reach more people. There’s a lot more of that work still to do.”
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