Windows 8 touch-friendly Firefox beta ready for testing

Windows 8 touch-friendly Firefox beta ready for testing

Summary: Long-awaited beta of browser for Windows 8 features a tiled start screen and pinch to zoom support.

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A beta version of the Firefox browser optimised for Windows 8 touchscreens is now ready for testing.

Firefox maker Mozilla released the touch-friendly, tile-based Firefox designed for Microsoft's Windows 8 new user interface on Thursday.

Mozilla has been working on the touch-friendly browser for some time — it first started talking about it way back in October 2012. It's not yet clear when the beta will turn into a stable, general release.

Firefox for Windows 8 Touch screenshot
Firefox for Windows 8 Touch. Image: Mozilla

It features a tile-based Firefox start screen with one-tap access to top sites, bookmarks or history. The beta also supports 'pinch to zoom' and swipe.

Other features include the option to view an app full-screen, 'snapped' to a narrow region of the screen (such as the left of the screen like a sidebar), or to have it 'fill' the screen area not already occupied by an app in 'snapped' state.

It also features Windows Share integration so a web page or a piece of content can be shared to social networks.

Testers should make sure that Firefox Beta is set as their Windows 8 default browser, Mozilla said.

Related reading

Topics: Tablets, Microsoft, Windows 8

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13 comments
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  • Looks pretty good

    Interesting they decided to respect the metro convention of navigation bar on the bottom.

    Hopefully they don't forget to add pinch to zoom on the Mac too.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • There is a but...

      The image is a Surface RT, not the pro model. Firefox for Windows 8 won't run on Windows RT.
      gbouchard99
      • How can you tell?

        How can you tell it's not a Pro? Just curious.
        TechNickle
        • Surface Pro vs. RT

          The reason he mention is RT is because Surface comes with two browser. One for the desktop, and another for the Metro side which is may for touch. If Firefox is making a browser for Windows 8 with touch, it will imply that is for Surface RT. Of course the Pro version will benefit from this, but the Pro can have the regular Firefox install thru the desktop right now without waiting for the touch version. Please notice the IE in desktop of Surface is not really optimize for touch as the one in the Metro side.
          jazzy2945
  • Windows 8 touch-friendly Firefox beta ready for testing

    Will be giving this a try as soon as I can. Been waiting for a firefox or variant to get the touch screen version.
    Loverock.Davidson
  • Looks interesting

    Don't have a problem with IE on my Win 8 tablet, but it's nice to have choices. I'd love a Metro version of Chrome that didn't play all those shenanigans that the current beta Metro Chrome is playing.
    dsf3g
    • Agreed on Chrome.

      I've been a long time Chrome user, but recently tried the beta of Firefox and it's far, far better on a Windows 8 tablet than Chrome.

      Google might be loosing sight of why people use their products, focusing on furthering their own agenda to the exclusion of providing the best user experience with their apps.
      PC987
  • oh my god

    the back and new tab buttons always hovering on the screen looks so so so bad! take that out mozilla!

    otherwise seems great tho
    theoilman
  • X-fingers

    Need a Win8 version of a different browser. IE is - well - IE.
    drappit
    • Opera mobile

      I'm hoping for Opera mobile for win8.
      love it on Android.
      warboat
  • As long as they dont forget....

    Those users that DONT or WONT use touch.

    Please keep the standard UI for NON touch
    carlsf1
    • They will

      As long as you don't use the Metro UI version , you're good
      Michael Alan Goff
  • Hehehe

    So Windows 8.x has been out for 16 months and this thing is still in beta?
    Gisabun