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Firefox for Windows 8 preview, in pictures

Mozilla's Windows 8-optimised Firefox Metro browser is now available to download in preview form ahead of its release later in the year.
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By Ben Woods, Senior reporter on
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1 of 4 Ben Woods/ZDNet

Firefox Metro for Windows 8 is now available to download in preview form from the Mozilla website, bringing with it a 'Widows 8' style Firefox start page and support for established features such as sync.

The company released the early build software on Thursday, noting that it is still in preview and is not finished software; as such bugs and missing features may well abound.

"Today's preview marks the beginning of Mozilla community testing for the Firefox Metro browser designed from the ground up for Windows 8," the company said in a blog post on Thursday. "Earlier this year, we began development on a version of Firefox that runs on x86 Windows 8. This version of Firefox runs in both the Windows 8 'classic Desktop' environment, and in the new 'Metro' environment. "

Mozilla had not confirmed at the time of writing whether it would be making an ARM-compatible version of Firefox Metro. The preview version will only work on machines running the RTM version of Windows 8 currently.

Included in the new look is a redesigned "Metro style" (pictured) Firefox start page.

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Features such as Mozilla's well-established Awesome bar are also present in the Windows 8 optimised version of the software.

In this case, searching in the Awesome bar returns results from your web history, as well as presenting the option to search the web using a variety of different providers, such as Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Wikipedia and Bing.

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The browser has also been integrated with Windows 8's native search 'charm', meaning that users can search using Firefox before even opening up the browser, directly from the sidebar.

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Like all other modern versions of Firefox (and every other major browser) Firefox Metro for Windows 8 also supports tabbed browsing.

It does it in a similar way to the preloaded Internet Explorer 10 browser; swiping down from the top of the screen reveals the open tabs with a preview of each tab. 

Mozilla said it would continue to add features, work out the bugs and integrate it more tightly with Windows 8 in the coming weeks.

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