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Firefox Metro browser for Windows 8 now available in preview

04 Oct 2012
Firefox Windows 8 preview release

Mozilla has made a preview release of its Firefox browser for Windows 8 available, designed to run in both the classic desktop version and the new Metro-style environment.

As announced on Thursday on the Mozilla blog, the Elm development branch of the Firefox browser will now be made available as daily test builds for users already running the RTM release of Windows 8.

The preview includes a new Metro-style Firefox Start page along with support for Windows 8's touch and swipe gestures, and features a streamlined and modern new user interface that Mozilla calls "Australis".

Mozilla warned that this is an early preview version, so there are likely still to be bugs and other issues that need ironing out.

Over the next few weeks and months the developers will be working to add more features, tighten up Windows integration and improve performance and responsiveness, Mozilla said.

The Windows 8 version of Firefox was first revealed back in March, amid claims from various browser developers that Microsoft's IE10, the browser built-in to Windows 8, appeared to break the software giant's own restrictions on what Metro-style applications were allowed to do.

The term "Metro" has itself been downplayed by Microsoft, which now refers to the new-style applications as "Modern UI" or simply "Windows 8" software.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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