Mozilla scraps Metro version of Firefox, citing low interest

The Bookmarks and Recent History screen in the Firefox Metro Preview, a version of the browser that's now mothballed.

(Credit: Mozilla)

After more than two years of work, Mozilla has scrapped its effort to build a Metro-specific version of Firefox for Windows 8, saying that users have shown almost no interest.

Microsoft designed what it previously called the Metro interface for touch-screen devices like tablets and introduced it with Windows 8 along with a version of Internet Explorer designed to run on it. Two years ago, after winning a debate with Microsoft over whether it even could be possible to bring a modern third-party browser to Metro, Mozilla embarked on its Firefox for Metro journey.

But it’s over for now, although Firefox will mothball the code in case it needs to change its mind.

“As the team built and tested and refined the product, we’ve been watching Metro’s adoption. From what we can see, it’s pretty flat,” Johnathan Nightingale, vice president of Firefox, said in a blog post Friday. “On any given day, we have, for instance, millions of people testing prerelease versions of Firefox desktop, but we’ve never seen more than 1,000 active daily users in the Metro environment.”

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