Mozilla’s biggest export is Firefox, and with Windows 8 having been in circulation for a few months now, the next stage of preparations for a version of the popular browser tailored to Microsoft’s latest OS release have begun. Last week, the Metro/Modern-ized browser reached Mozilla’s nightly build channel, and today, it has reached Mozilla-central. Although Firefox desktop product manager Asa Dotzler confessed there is still “plenty of work” to be done, it has now reached a point where it is stable enough for regular testing.
Although Dotzler continues to use the “Metro” moniker to refer to apps adapted to the tiled interface of Windows 8, Microsoft no longer officially uses the term, preferring to normalize the new Windows wherever possible.
Mozilla first showcased a preview of Firefox for Windows 8 shortly prior to the release of the OS back in October, but with very little in the way of information since that point, it was, at various points, beginning to look like Mozilla may abandon ship – if it hadn’t already.
Today, however, Metro Firefox has been inducted into Mozilla-central, which means all current nightly users on Windows 8 be fed daily updates to the latest version at around 9:30 PM. PT. This will undoubtedly expand the number of testers, and represents an altogether more momentous push towards bringing this app to a consumable state.
Although there now seems to be increased urgency on the project, Mozilla has stopped short of offering an ETA, although it has already been confirmed the Windows 8-tailored browser will not support RT tablets, such as the Microsoft Surface RT.
Nevertheless, the wheels are certainly in motion now, and considering the initial work on Metro Firefox started early last year, it may not be too long before we begin seeing a public beta. In the meantime, if you want to grab a nightly build of Firefox, you can do so via the Mozilla website.
If you do go ahead and install a nightly, you will, naturally, need to be running Windows 8 on your PC, or be in ownership of a tablet capable of running the proper version of Windows 8, such as Microsoft’s newly-released and heavily in-demand Surface Pro slate.