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Mozilla Scraps Firefox For Windows 8, Citing Low Adoption of Metro

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the when-the-burglars-bring-your-couch-back dept.

Mozilla 200

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today announced it is abandoning the Metro version of its Firefox browser, before the first release for Windows 8 even sees the light of day. Firefox Vice President Johnathan Nightingale ordered the company's engineering leads and release managers to halt development earlier this week, saying that shipping a 1.0 version "would be a mistake." Mozilla says it simply does not have the resources nor the scale of its competitors, and it has to pick its battles. The Metro platform (which has since been renamed to Modern UI, but many prefer the older name) simply doesn't help the organization achieve its mission as well as other platforms Firefox is available for: Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android."

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Good (5, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 9 months ago | (#46488249)

Good, lets not waste time and resources metroifying things that need not be, at least not until we get some clarity from microsoft on what they're going to do to fix the mess from windows 8. They could keep the metro language and so on, but they might be better to wipe some of that slate clean for windows 9 and apologize for fucking up so badly. And how they try and fix it could beak anything people would be working on now.

Re:Good (-1, Flamebait)

koan (80826) | about 9 months ago | (#46488427)

Now if only the metrosexuals would follow that advice...

Re:Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489375)

This isn't flame bait.. it's the truth.

Re: Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489409)

How about they just come out of the closet? They want the benefits of being gay without the negatives of it

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | about 9 months ago | (#46488465)

The idea some people got that all existing Windows apps were supposed to be rewritten as Modern Apps is certainly wrong.

However, the idea that the WinRT / Modern App platform needs to go away in a future Windows version is also misguided. What you refer to as "Metro" fills a useful function that isn't otherwise served on Windows, which is enabling touch screen use, and it does a very nice job of that. True, there aren't many Windows tablets or touch monitors out there, but the number of them is increasing every day, and it would be stupid of Microsoft to ditch the whole WinRT effort now.

If you want to make the case that keyboard and mouse users shouldn't have to look at the Modern UI if they don't want to... why then I will heartily agree.

Re:Good (4, Interesting)

frdmfghtr (603968) | about 9 months ago | (#46488603)

Before I agree or disagree, I have to ask: are you equating the Modern UI with WinRT? Unless I'm mistaken, they are not the same thing. WinRT uses the Modern UI but the Modern UI is not exclusive to WinRT.

Having said that, I would disagree and state that WinRT does need to go away; if it looks like Windows and feels like Windows but doesn't run Windows apps then it's confusing.

At the same time, I recently upgraded my laptop from Win7 to Win 8.1 (I got the $15 upgrade to Win8 Pro way back when) and I'm getting used to the Start menu now being the Modern UI Start screen. When I remote in using Remote Desktop from my iPad, it feels quite natural and useful. When I'm at my machine and using a mouse, not so much.

Re:Good (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 9 months ago | (#46488695)

Modern UI is not exclusive to WinRT.

No, Modern UI is exclusive to WinRT, unless you're talking about skinning a desktop application to look like a Modern UI application. But it won't be able to integrate with all the WinRT services or run in a metro frame (full-screen independent of the desktop).

There is an exception to this rule, the default web browser. Web browsers are the only apps (that I know of) that can hook into some of the Modern UI capabilities without having to be built for WinRT. You can also download them without going through the Windows Store. This is how Chrome is allowed to have a Modern UI mode. But it requires the application to be running as the default web browser, meaning it's not a feasible workaround for doing the same with other applications.

Re:Good (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#46489067)

WinRT is a stripped down version of Windows that does not include the desktop or related functionality. Windows on the desktop is a superset of WinRT and includes "the interface formerly known as Metro".

Re:Good (3, Informative)

exomondo (1725132) | about 9 months ago | (#46489793)

WinRT is a stripped down version of Windows that does not include the desktop or related functionality. Windows on the desktop is a superset of WinRT and includes "the interface formerly known as Metro".

No, WinRT is the Windows Runtime [wikipedia.org] , it is an application platform for Metro apps. You are thinking of the operating system called Windows RT.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#46488697)

The way I understood his post is that we shouldn't abandon Metro because it serves a purpose on RT, regardless of whether or not it belongs on other platforms. I don't think RT needs to go away so much as it needs a name that doesn't use "Windows"

Re:Good (4, Informative)

cbhacking (979169) | about 9 months ago | (#46488737)

You are (very) mistaken. WinRT (Windows RunTime) is an API set, a platform for running what Microsoft has (at various times) called "Metro", "Modern", "Immersive", and "Windows Store" apps. While you can make a full-screen touch-friendly UI without using WinRT, you need to use WinRT to integrate with the other "app" stuff that Win8.x does (the new task switcher, the sandboxing, the snapping, the automatic suspension in the background, etc.). To be fair, Firefox probably wasn't really trying to do that (the sandbox part, in particular, would be Really Good for them to have but would be a lot of work) so I expect it was more like what Chrome is doing, where they tack some Win32 UI functions onto their otherwise-traditional browser.

Windows RT, on the other hand, is completely different from WinRT. It can run WinRT apps, but saying they're the same thing would be like saying that Linux and the JVM are the same thing. Well, aside from the fact that those are made by different companies and don't have idiotically similar names... To the best of my knowledge, there was no real effort to port Firefox to Windows RT. I've tried doing that port myself (as a desktop application for jailbroken RT systems, not as a "Metro"/WinRT app) and it would be a tremendous amount of work.

Re:Good (3, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about 9 months ago | (#46488789)

Thanks very much, I was powerful confused by earlier posts. So to paraphrase, WinRT is the run time API for what we call Metro, (on Intel and ARM) and Windows RT is that version of Windows (8, currently) that runs on ARM? Wow, no wonder people are confused.

Re:Good (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about 9 months ago | (#46488941)

Maybe a bit of confusion, but in my opinion not so bad. Windows RT ARM tablets are so named because you can only install WinRT targeting apps on them.

If Microsoft called the devices and software layer WinTouch or something, that might have helped a little, as a lot of people have been disappointed that a "Windows" computer can't run legacy mouse/keyboard Windows apps.

Re:Good (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#46489079)

Thats not correct. Windows RT is an actual product name for an OS.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Good (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about 9 months ago | (#46489233)

That's technically true, and you could raise the same objection if you hear someone talking about an "Android ARM tablet". I think my general point still holds despite my informal usage, no?

Re:Good (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 9 months ago | (#46489103)

The Windows 8 ARM devices need to cease to exist now. Win 8 tablets with modern Atom processors exist, priced at under $300 from vendors like Dell. The market for "priced less" Windows RT tablets has been superseded by the new Windows 8.1 tablets. I am typing this on my Dell Venue 8 Pro.

Re:Good (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 9 months ago | (#46489255)

I don't think Windows RT devices exist because they are "priced less". I think they exist so that Microsoft can show that they are a player in the ARM space. As a product, it doesn't need to succeed, it merely needs to exist.

I agree, though, that the user base could do without them.

Re:Good (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 9 months ago | (#46489433)

The Windows 8 ARM devices need to cease to exist now

The main advantage at this point to the Win8 ARM platforms is the epic battery life compared to their x86 counterparts. Atom is pretty good, but still not as good.

Re:Good (3, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about 9 months ago | (#46489243)

> If Microsoft called the devices and software layer WinTouch or something, that might have helped a little, as a lot of people have been disappointed that a "Windows" computer can't run legacy mouse/keyboard Windows apps.

IIRC that was true of Windows CE also, and cause considerable confusion back then. Everything old is new again etc etc.

I think that this is one more issue that stems with wanting to call everything "windows".

Re:Good (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 9 months ago | (#46488987)

Windows RT, on the other hand, is completely different from WinRT

What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Good (3, Interesting)

TClevenger (252206) | about 9 months ago | (#46489817)

The idea some people got that all existing Windows apps were supposed to be rewritten as Modern Apps is certainly wrong.

What's the point of having nice big buttons to touch to launch an app if you still have to use a mouse to use the app?

Re:Good (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 9 months ago | (#46489819)

What you refer to as "Metro" fills a useful function that isn't otherwise served on Windows, which is enabling touch screen use,

Except that I've used the touch versions of XP, Vista and 7 and they all worked fine without it. Actually they worked better, because your finger worked like your mouse which meant that the same UI worked for everything in exactly the same way, once you figured out the conventions for left and right click, and naturally you need to make some elements a bit larger for fat fingers to click on (which works well for mouse users on high res screens and mouse users with poor motor control).

But that's actually beside the point.

What I was getting at was really that Windows 8 is a marketplace disaster. If, as a result of that if microsoft completely or largely scraps the underlying technology that powers modern apps (the Metro language) then we're going to be starting from the beginning. Now they don't have to do that necessarily, but they might need or want to do significant rewrites of major pieces of functionality to try and make it their version of better for windows 9.

If you want to make the case that keyboard and mouse users shouldn't have to look at the Modern UI if they don't want to... why then I will heartily agree.

See this is the problem. Modern UI apps, that run in a window - which is something we might see patched into Windows 8.1.x or 8.2 or something, and is available from aftermarket stuff (from Stardock I think), already does that, and then they work, well, basically fine in that it's just another design language from microsoft and if you use it well it works well, and if you use it badly it works badly. And you don't need or want to block of desktop users and mobile/touch users. It's basically extending the gadget concept, and in general it's the sort of thing that makes a lot of sense on a second screen, a lot of small pieces of live updated information that tells you about all the stuff that isn't your immediate focus (the main screen) but that you can, at a glance, get an overview of many things all at once.

Re:Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46488475)

Better yet, keep the churn and bloat of FF off of Windows.

Re:Good (0)

sideslash (1865434) | about 9 months ago | (#46488953)

This is actually pretty funny, because it's true. And I wonder whether an unspoken reason they're walking away from WinRT is due to the sandboxed nature of the new subsystem, that actually rewards good behavior and punishes bad behavior in terms of memory management and CPU binding. To put it bluntly, maybe FF is too bloated to live inside WinRT without a huge rewrite.

Re:Good (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 9 months ago | (#46489435)

Oh come on! I can already hear the Reeses song in my head: Two great bloats that churn great together!

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489101)

would be cool if they issued free upgrades to windows 9 to replace our current metro filled skydrive up your face systems to even more skydrive-up-your-ass systems now, would it

Re:Good (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 9 months ago | (#46489827)

Free for Windows 8 users maybe, or at a reduced price. Apparently there are only about 25 million windows 8 users, and I would think a lot of them (myself included) either have Microsoft hardware, or are on institutional subscriptions and don't really see the upgrade cost either way.

When they launched windows 8 it was a dirt cheap upgrade. They might do something similar for windows 9.

Re:Good (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 9 months ago | (#46489785)

Metro is fine for applications designed purely for touch devices but frankly desktop web browsers like Chrome and Firefox work fine in Windows 8 on touch devices and with a mouse and keyboard anyway so why bother creating a "Metro" version? I never saw the point in that at all.

Who in the world... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46488267)

Even use Modern UI apps on the desktop... Why limit yourself to a single open application... (or more if you split the modern UI screen, but that's more hassle than it's worth)

Re:Who in the world... (4, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 9 months ago | (#46489439)

overweight soccer moms running the weightwatchers app. Their kids chatting on failbook.

It's sad, but computing has finally become mainstream enough to start degenerating along with the rest of society.

Re:Who in the world... (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 9 months ago | (#46489907)

overweight soccer moms running the weightwatchers app. Their kids chatting on failbook.

It's sad, but computing has finally become mainstream enough to start degenerating along with the rest of society.

I suddenly feel very depressed.

Still works on it (4, Informative)

Laconique (3426803) | about 9 months ago | (#46488271)

It's just the app for w8 and frankly since many people use the windows 7 hidden under 8, and not w8 proper apps,where normal FF would work, it sounds like a reasonable decision.

The name Metro is already taken. (1)

Sique (173459) | about 9 months ago | (#46488273)

I think the renaming of Metro to Modern UI has to do with the trademark rights of Metro AG in the E.U. Microsoft is not allowed to call the GUI Metro in Europe, thus the need for a new name.

Re:The name Metro is already taken. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46488327)

Metro was never renamed to Modern UI. Modern UI is the actual interface, Metro is the design language used to create that interface. They are two separate things.

Re:The name Metro is already taken. (2)

Tridus (79566) | about 9 months ago | (#46488595)

Not to mention trying to change the channel after Metro was met with an abysmal reaction. They didn't want another situation like Vista, where the name itself is toxic.

Re:The name Metro is already taken. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 9 months ago | (#46488799)

The problem is, like many Microsoft product names, "modern UI" is too generic to mean anything to the casual listener.

Re:The name Metro is already taken. (2)

guises (2423402) | about 9 months ago | (#46489839)

Yeah, whoever comes up with names at Microsoft really needs to get promoted to somewhere useless. The Xbox One, which is not the same as the Xbox one, and is in fact the Xbox three, being the sequel to the Xbox 360... that one is so stupid it makes me angry.

Probably a tough choice to make. (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#46488275)

Sometimes cutting your losses is a smart move.

Hopefully this is one of those times.

Re:Probably a tough choice to make. (4, Informative)

fwarren (579763) | about 9 months ago | (#46488469)

After 18 months, "Metro" is not a roaring success. Firefoxes absense on Metro will only hurt WinRT users. By definition, being a WinRT users they have already decided they are going to have a stripped down experience.

I don't think Mozilla is losing anything here.

Re:Probably a tough choice to make. (0)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 9 months ago | (#46489151)

I can and do sometimes run Seamonkey on my Win 8.1 tablet. Why I would even want to run the crippled version of Mozilla (presently called Firefox) is beyond me.

Re:Probably a tough choice to make. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489853)

Because the Firefox codebase is newer and receives security updates and new features more frequently?

Why anyone would want to use one bloated app for IRC, web browsing, RSS, e-mail, newsgroups, etc... is beyond me. Especially when there are dozens of free open source softwares much better suited to each of those individual tasks (especially on a Tablet) than some AOL 6.0 wanna-be.

Windows 8.x is un-usable without Start8 (5, Informative)

Zeio (325157) | about 9 months ago | (#46488281)

Without Start8 and ModernMix or Classic Shell or whatever , Windows 8.x is not useable.

I gladly have for the first time ever used a pay-for program to fix how bad default Windows shell is. I was annoyed classic start was gone from windows 7 but I got used to it.

Windows 8 is a special kind of strange. Microsoft should learn to SKIN to whatever the old version looked like to keep people from having to retrain. The metro apps stink without modern mix.

Microsoft's new CEO should put a stop to this loser behavior. under the hood, the OS isnt half bad.

Re:Windows 8.x is un-usable without Start8 (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 9 months ago | (#46488703)

Despite that use Start8, Win8.x is usable without it. It just has a more annoying learning curve compared to what everyone else who's been using Windows since the mid-90's is used to however. Drop someone who never used a classic shell and not a problem though, the real problem as it was came to life because there was no easy method of transition. And that, will cause more people to throw a fit and rightfully so.

Re: Windows 8.x is un-usable without Start8 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489047)

I 'uninstalled' the metro apps, customised the start screen (read: made the tiles smaller) and basically ended up with a full-screen version of the Windows 7 'frequently used' start menu pane. Which is great, because I could care less about a readme for the ATI drivers. OCD sufferers rejoice!

The search functionality is actually more accurate (and faster) than the 7 iteration.

It took me all of 30 minutes to set up and figure out a workflow. This despite using 7 all day at work.

Sure, there are some components that really suck -- the network connection sidebar comes to mind -- but I have no idea what the majority is banging on about. Have you never used anything new before?

It took me longer to set up my Nexus 5 in a manner I was happy with.

Sheesh.

Re:Windows 8.x is un-usable without Start8 (1)

SCPaPaJoe (767952) | about 9 months ago | (#46489073)

This all reminds me of the transition to win 95, or win 1. Hell, I can still remember playing with the Gem environment. I'll never forget the old DOS years when a new game meant an hour of fucking with config files so you could play. I just fixed a win 98 computer (not connected to the internet) that runs abandonware software for my job. I'm typing this now on my wife's win 8.1 tablet. Do I like it? Not much, but hear I am.

Re:Windows 8.x is un-usable without Start8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489563)

Not much, but hear I am.

I here you, buddy.

Re:Windows 8.x is un-usable without Start8 (0)

cbhacking (979169) | about 9 months ago | (#46488787)

Some particular reason you chose to spend money instead of getting the free and open-source Classic Start Menu (from Classic Shell)? Seems kind of silly.

Anyhow, I happen to think you're an idiot if you can't use the same UI (and by far the most productive one) that's been present in Windows since Vista, namely "hit Start (or the Windows key), type a few letters of the program name, hit Enter". It's faster than any mouse-driven interaction and doesn't require manually finding anything in cascading menus *or* scrolling screens of tiles. But that's just, like, my opinion, man...

Re:Windows 8.x is un-usable without Start8 (4, Interesting)

almechist (1366403) | about 9 months ago | (#46488999)

Some particular reason you chose to spend money instead of getting the free and open-source Classic Start Menu (from Classic Shell)? Seems kind of silly.

Anyhow, I happen to think you're an idiot if you can't use the same UI (and by far the most productive one) that's been present in Windows since Vista, namely "hit Start (or the Windows key), type a few letters of the program name, hit Enter". It's faster than any mouse-driven interaction and doesn't require manually finding anything in cascading menus *or* scrolling screens of tiles. But that's just, like, my opinion, man...

It's questionable whether typing stuff, even just a few letters, should always be considered faster and/or more productive than using a mouse. Sometimes, especially on a laptop, it's a pain to keep shifting from mouse to keyboard and back. Besides, since when is running a particular program the only thing you would ever want to do on a given operating system?

Windows 8 if filled with non-intuitive commands, and offers almost nothing of value in return for scaling its rather steep learning curve. It wasn't wanted or needed by anyone outside Microsoft, and it will eventually be abandoned and completely forgotten by everyone outside of a few business textbooks, where it will stand forever as a classic example of a large corporation shooting itself in the foot.

Re:Windows 8.x is un-usable without Start8 (3, Insightful)

geek (5680) | about 9 months ago | (#46488797)

And yet you bought and use Windows 8 rather than abstaining and hitting MS in the pocket book where it counts. They really learned a lesson there.

Re:Windows 8.x is un-usable without Start8 (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 9 months ago | (#46489865)

You're wrong. It's very usable. I like it quite a lot, when using a touchscreen. It's kinda' awesome, actually.

That's just my opinion.

How long will it take Microsoft to get the message (1, Flamebait)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 9 months ago | (#46488285)

I've bought a few laptops recently but they've all been older models with Windows 7. I wouldn't buy a laptop with Windows 8. Used it in the store. The Metro interface sucks. Why do I want to waste time learning something that sucks when Win 7 worked fine.

My employer has ditched Windows versions of our software and we're now all tablet. Developers warned Microsoft this would happen and they arrogantly ignored us.

Everyone makes mistakes, but only an idiot refuses to admits it and keeps their jalopy pointed at the cliff edge while flipping the bird to horrified onlookers.

Re:How long will it take Microsoft to get the mess (1)

koan (80826) | about 9 months ago | (#46488419)

we're now all tablet

Pity.

Re: How long will it take Microsoft to get the mes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489663)

Arrogantly ignored your piss ant little company with an asshole IT dude whose business is so insignificant it can be run on tablets. Sweet.

Does Firefox still run on Win8 desktop UI? (1)

guanxi (216397) | about 9 months ago | (#46488309)

I assume it still runs on the Win8 desktop UI? Or are Win8 users unable to use Firefox outside a VM?

Re:Does Firefox still run on Win8 desktop UI? (5, Informative)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 9 months ago | (#46488413)

Yes, it still works just fine as a desktop app. This is just about making a special version that plays nice in the Metro/Modern UI 'tiles' environment. You can already just drop a shortcut to the FireFox desktop app on there if you think it's a nice launcher, of course.

Re:Does Firefox still run on Win8 desktop UI? (4, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 9 months ago | (#46488425)

Of course it does. Microsoft is very good with backwards compatibility, especially from NT onward, and that's assuming Mozilla wasn't interested in supporting their most commonly used platform (I'm pretty sure Windows is). This is just talking about the port to Metro, which has seen poor reception.

Of course I doubt Firefox would have been a "true" Metro app... I don't think Chrome was... as part of MS' attempt to be anti-competitive with web browsers in Windows 8, they allow the default web browser to inject itself into Metro, but still run outside of the sandbox (otherwise, they would have to use the IE rendering engine! At least AFAIK). But you still want the UI to look Metro. Anyway, if the browser is not the default, it can still run but only on the desktop in its traditional UI. This restriction also applies to IE.

Re:Does Firefox still run on Win8 desktop UI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489105)

Microsoft absolutely sucks at backward compatibility. There s*** tons of apps that don't work on MS Windows 8 and many companies haven't updated either. At least with GNU/Linux I'm pretty confident most critical applications will continue to be available. The source is available thus so is the app.

Re:Does Firefox still run on Win8 desktop UI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489621)

Only shitty ones that try to write to System32 or something that they shouldn't be doing. And most of those will work if you just turn on UAC.

Re:Does Firefox still run on Win8 desktop UI? (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 9 months ago | (#46489455)

" Microsoft is very good with backwards compatibility"

I am completely flabberghasted. They can't even keep backwards compatibility from one version of word to the next. It friggin blows my mind that someone would come here and post something that absurd. Seriously.

Re: Does Firefox still run on Win8 desktop UI? (1)

drinkmoreyuengling (2768737) | about 9 months ago | (#46489669)

Pedal your bullshit elsewhere. Oh wait, this is /.? Carry on.

Re: Does Firefox still run on Win8 desktop UI? (2)

maugle (1369813) | about 9 months ago | (#46489877)

Bullshit? Not likely. My parents were just forced to buy a new version of Word, because the WORD documents they were getting sent looked like crap in older version of WORD they had.

Re:Does Firefox still run on Win8 desktop UI? (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 9 months ago | (#46488615)

Unless you're using Windows RT as your OS, virtually everything that runs in Windows 7 also runs in Windows 8's desktop mode.

Unless ARM based Windows tablets really take off, there really won't be a whole lot lost from this decision.

Win8 (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#46488329)

Those so thoroughly enamoured of Microsoft, that they endure Windows 8 as if it were not a non-functional eyesore? They'd also likely not venture far enough off the farm to Firefox - instead of scalding their retinas with IE.

I don't get it (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#46488347)

Is it really that hard to slap a Metro interface on Firefox? And if so, does that tell us about Metro, or Firefox?

Re:I don't get it (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 9 months ago | (#46488437)

Define 'a Metro interface'.

If you just mean the look&feel / 'touch interface'-friendliness, then no, it's not hard at all.

If you mean having it play nice in the Metro/Modern UI interface (the tiles thing, full-screen apps optionally with sidebar, live updates, notifications, all that)... apparently that's a bit harder. Just ask the VLC people.

Of course there's not much of a reason to even use that on desktop Windows anyway, but it would have been a pretty good step toward also providing FireFox for Windows RT / ARM-based devices like the Surface (not to be confused with the Surface Pro) and Windows Phone.

Re:I don't get it (2, Funny)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 9 months ago | (#46488759)

The only thing the VLC Metro app does is crash.

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about 9 months ago | (#46488639)

Yes.

I mean, strictly speaking it's entirely doable. But it's another UI to build, test, and support. That stuff isn't free, and Mozilla doesn't have infinite resources. Considering the general lack of interest in Metro and the fact that the current version works just fine on Windows 8 as a desktop application, they decided it wasn't worth the cost.

It's an entirely sensible thing to do. Metro is hardly setting the world on fire.

It's not that it's not popular enough... (2)

The123king (2395060) | about 9 months ago | (#46488353)

It's that it's too different. It's a well argued fact that the 2 major mobile OSes are very similar programatticaly to their desktop brethren. In fact, the only visual different between iOS/Android and Mac/Windows is the lack of a multi-window interface. Almost every widget could be seen on both desktops and touch screens in some shape or form, and as such, coding a browser such as Firefox for any of them platforms is much the same regardless of platform. The problem with Metro is it's just too different. It's very hard to convert an interface written for, say, win32 to the new Metro interface simply because there's not many similarities. And herein lies the issues. If developers can't easily code for your API, they won't, and hence Mozilla's stance.

It's a dead platform anyway. I wonder if in 5 years we'll remember it as fondly as we currently remember Vista.

Re:It's not that it's not popular enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46488665)

People still remember the Microsoft Bob, and it still makes many of us at least grin, if now smile. The Win8 might juts be same kinf of curiosity in the history of computing. It just depends on the Microsoft, if it is the last of their OS' or not.

Re:It's not that it's not popular enough... (1)

Streetlight (1102081) | about 9 months ago | (#46489639)

And there was Clippy.Yikes!

Re:It's not that it's not popular enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489665)

I've spent mod points on this thread, so AC. Otherwise I would post as Will.Woodhull [slashdot.org] .

Win8 is another Clippy, huh? At present I only have one acquaintance who is using it, and my support strategy is to dual boot her machine to Ubuntu when she yells for help. I'm just hoping she is stubborn enough to tough it out with Win8 for 4 more weeks, when Ubuntu 14.04 will be released. (Current version, 13.10, is okay, but 14.04 is going to be a five year LTS which means the autoupdates will keep her from bugging me for quite a while.)

Hint to moderators: this is "Off topic", but neither "Troll" nor "Flamebait". Some readers might find it "Informative".

Mozilla may be anticipating the removal of Metro (1)

Streetlight (1102081) | about 9 months ago | (#46488361)

Perhaps Mozilla knows that the Metro Start screen and everything about Metro will eventually be disposed of by Microsoft, which is what should happen, in some future update or new version of Windows. Maybe Windows 9. Smart, Mozilla!

Re:Mozilla may be anticipating the removal of Metr (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46488687)

Perhaps Mozilla knows that the Metro Start screen and everything about Metro will eventually be disposed of by Microsoft, which is what should happen, in some future update or new version of Windows. Maybe Windows 9. Smart, Mozilla!

Yeah, I'd love to get back to desktop windows on my tablet. Just need to sharpen my nails and get that stylus back in style. In our house we have both an iPad and a Surface2 - the touch interface of Surface is far superior to the iPad, but desktop Windows is hopeless.

Not enough time to waste? (1)

bsdasym (829112) | about 9 months ago | (#46488373)

Oh Mozilla.. though you're already wasting enough time implementing crap nobody wants in Firefox, how can you ever HAVE time if you don't TAKE time?

::merovingian::

Dear Microsoft (1)

koan (80826) | about 9 months ago | (#46488403)

Release a service pack (or call it an update) with the traditional start button and desktop for Windows 8 users, and then remember how much this sucked for everyone come Windows 9 time.

Press F11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46488409)

Seems to already exist.

Re:Press F11 (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 9 months ago | (#46488805)

"Metro" is (was?) a lot more than just being full-screen. There's integration with the task switcher, support for snapping windows side-by-side, support for notifications, and so on. Making all that stuff work on something that wasn't written from the ground up to be a "Windows Store app" is hard. Chrome does it, but Google has a lot more resources than Mozilla.

Sounds worthy of (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46488441)

BREAKING NEWS!
                                        !!!
headline.

At a carribean resort somewhere... (2)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 9 months ago | (#46488489)

Steve Balmer is jumping up and down on his beach chair.

Re:At a carribean resort somewhere... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46488747)

Meanwhile you'll be sucking faggot dicks down at the all male bathhouse.
 
And the world still turns...

Re:At a carribean resort somewhere... (1)

greenreaper (205818) | about 9 months ago | (#46489715)

If he liked it so much, he can always pay for the programmers to support it. He's a free man now, sort of!

In other news... (1)

dicobalt (1536225) | about 9 months ago | (#46488537)

VLC just put the first ModernUI betal on the Windows store: http://apps.microsoft.com/wind... [microsoft.com]

Lack of users? (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 9 months ago | (#46488553)

It's a bit stupid to complain that there aren't any users if there hasn't been a release yet.

Honest question (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 9 months ago | (#46488575)

I assume just having a fullscreen version of Mozilla for the Metro interface isn't good enough?

Riiiiight (0)

drinkmoreyuengling (2768737) | about 9 months ago | (#46488719)

So Windows 8 has too low a market share but desktop Linux support is a great investment of time. Mozilla is the same organization that tried to make an antitrust stink out of the Metro browser as well. They seem to have a vested interest in portraying it as failure.

Re:Riiiiight (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46488819)

Rust is for people do not konow how to program, in C or C++.

Re:Riiiiight (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46488997)

Metro has a low market share; as in most users are happy with the classic desktop, and RT devices are such an insignificant market share that why would anyone bother developing for it? Besides, there are enough common UI toolkits for Linux and Windows that I doubt there's that much additional support involved.

Face it, Metro is a dismal failure on every front.

Doesn't have the scale? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 9 months ago | (#46488767)

You heard it here first, a company with $311 million in revenues and 600+ employees "doesn't have the scale" to do a tweaked interface for their primary product.

Don't get me wrong, I loathe Metro, and I fully agree with their assertion that not enough users are adopting Metro to make it worth it... but saying they don't have the scale is silly.

Note: I realize that TFA actually says the scale of their competitors is the reason, but I think the summary's "don't have the scale" is analogous.

Re:Doesn't have the scale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489415)

Yeah it's funny how Mozilla is still playing up the image of some small, scrappy upstart taking on the establishment. Fanboys eat this false David vs Goliath shit up so Mozilla keeps playing the role. Reading their flowery bullshit PR, you'd think they were still this little rag tag group of guys working out of a garage or something. You might even think they were feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and saving the world -- their PR is simply that good! Outside of 600+ employees, don't forget about the hundreds or even thousands of unpaid volunteers who contribute to Firefox and other Mozilla projects. Wonder how much volunteer effort Microsoft or Google get for their browsers??

Mozilla is completely full of feel-good-shit as usual.

ModernUI? (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 9 months ago | (#46488825)

ModernUI. That must make AOL very happy.

Too much hate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46488837)

There is way too much hate for windows 8 on slashdot. Look, I'm a part-time windows, part-time linux user like most of the people here and fact is, windows 8 is really not that bad. I've used windows 8 since release and find it not only easier to use for about 90% of things, I also find its faster to doing it too. If you want someone to blame for Windows 8, blame the tablet market. Windows 8 and subsequently RT (though I don't think it'll be around much longer), are significantly better than a comparative Tablet OS. Modern apps need some work for the desktop environment and to be perfectly fair, Windows 8.1.1 does a lot to make the mouse/keyboard environment better. The ONLY thing that NEEDS improvement with windows 8 is a dedicated work environment. To me, Windows 8 is a vast improvement for average home users, while the tech community is bashing it, it doesn't change the metric data that proves its faster in just about every quantifiable way.

Re:Too much hate (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46489019)

Translation: I'm a Redmond shill trying to sound reasonable, but I can't help but make blatantly pro-Redmond statements like "significantly better than a comparative Tablet OS"

Do you have any fucking shame? More importantly, do you think we're fucking idiots that we don't recognize you for who you are?

Re:Too much hate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489795)

Translation: MightyMartian is an asshole who has never been with a woman. Disagreement with his very limited world view brings about accusations of shilling, because extreme stupidity makes debate too hard.

I hate to be the guy who defends Metro but... (1)

slaker (53818) | about 9 months ago | (#46488925)

I actually kind of like the Surface2 for some tasks, since it's thin and light for a 10" tablet and has a nice keyboard and a really nice screen. I often use it as a second or tertiary screen while I'm working since it's pretty easy to drop in to an RDP session or open Office documents and it can deal with printers and scanners just as well as any Windows 8 PC. It's a genuine workplace tablet.

But web browsing on it BLOWS. Metro-IE has to be switched to desktop mode to make any configuration changes (say, changing your default search engine or adding a TPL), but desktop-IE's controls are too damned small to be used with a finger and switching back and forth is PITA as well. Tabs and favorites are a hassle in Metro mode. It's just too much an ugly duckling. Windows RT has another general purpose browser, UC Browser, but that doesn't really improve the user experience over Metro-IE.

I actually find myself using the Metro-based NewsBento for about 75% of the web browsing I do on my Surface2. NewsBento is an RSS reader, which takes care of most of my normal sort of reading, but that doesn't really help for quick searches. I otherwise get a better web browsing experience with Firefox on my 5" phone than on a 10" tablet with IE.

So anyway, I want a decent arm's length, touch interface browsing experience for the devices I have. Microsoft doesn't give it to me, and I've been holding out hope for Firefox (or to a lesser extent Google) to make something decent. Honestly, if the Surface2 had a decent web browser (and a better Metro-based local media player, though VLC was just released for Metro a couple days ago), it would be a vastly more credible general-purpose mobile device.

Re:I hate to be the guy who defends Metro but... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 9 months ago | (#46489471)

It's OK. You weren't. I stopped reading once I got most of the way through the subject line.

Picking battles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489221)

Guess the battle they've picked is the one that involves butchering the browser to the point where it looks exactly like chrome (see upcomming australis builds).

What about fixing the existing browser (1)

n6kuy (172098) | about 9 months ago | (#46489393)

.. so that it doesn't lock the whole thing up ("program not responding") for 2 or 3 minutes at a time, while waiting to negotiate connections?

THAT would be worth investing some resources in.

Re:What about fixing the existing browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489537)

I've never seen that happen and I use firefox all the time. Does this happen when you don't have a stable connection then?
I know on my phone it just says unable to load if I don't have a signal, but I don't have connection problems on my desktop at home or work so I haven't seen that kind of thing there.

No this isn't relatable to Win95 or Win98 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46489675)

Stop incorrectly comparing the Metro "situation" to simple user interface choices

Its a fundamentally [One Egomanical] User Interface dreamed up by a small Clique inside Microsoft that is now gone

Why propagate a "bad" Management Personnel decision.. end it

Short sighted (2)

DogDude (805747) | about 9 months ago | (#46489849)

Another bad decision from Firefox. My company's moving to Windows 8. We'll be sticking with Chrome, which has a simple toggle between standard and metro. Every laptop made today is a touchscreen, and Windows 8 is awesome on a touchscreen.
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