The Mozilla Foundation has announced that a concept version of the Firefox browser for Microsoft's Windows 8 Metro interface is in the works, set to debut in Q2 this year.
Microsoft's Metro does away with the traditional Windows experience, replacing the standard desktop with a series of tiles. This of course represents a different challenge for any current software producers as they not only need to cater the design to the new experience, but need to make sure the features of their software are still useful.
In a planning document released as part of its 2012 strategy, Mozilla said: "The feature goal here is a new Gecko-based browser built for and integrated with the Metro environment. Firefox on Metro, like all other Metro apps will be full screen, focused on touch interactions, and connected to the rest of the Metro environment through Windows 8 contracts."
While Windows 8 will come with a classic interface for those that want to use it, the focus on Metro is to combat the growing competition from mobile operating systems like Apple's iOS and Google's Android. While Windows based PCs are still the most common internet browsing tools worldwide, they are quickly getting caught up by smartphone alternatives. By offering a touch focused operating system, Microsoft is hoping to keep itself competitive and by readying its own browser for this system, Firefox too is hoping to stay relevant in a time where the two main mobile operating system makers each have their own respective browsers too.
Microsoft is due to debut its Windows 8 preview/beta in the next few weeks, where Firefox developers will get a better feel of what the OS is all about.