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Mozilla delays Windows 8-optimised Firefox browser until 2014

Mozilla has delayed the launch of its much-anticipated touch-based Windows 8 optimised browser with Firefox Metro not likely to appear until next year.

Firefox Metro, as it was once known, was all set for a 10 December launch with the preview version still set to be included in the Aurora build of Firefox 26 for Windows desktop that launches today. Aurora is the first phase of development that Mozilla’s browser goes through before moving on to Beta and then eventually the full Release stage.

"The goal of the Metro Preview Release is to gather feedback and defects from the larger Aurora community," Mozilla said in notes from a planning meeting last Wednesday. "Whether or not the Metro Preview Release will graduate from Aurora to Beta and Release channels is still to be determined. At a minimum, it should significantly increase the number of testers and feedback."

The reason for the delay has been given as a slowdown in development with a 10 per cent decrease in the “velocity of the Firefox Metro team” between 13 August and 26 August. It all means the code will be bundled with Firefox 27, which won’t ship until 21 January 2014, at the earliest. The latest delays hitting the browser’s release mean that Google Chrome will have had an advantage, time-wise, of almost 18 months on Windows 8.

Of course, anyone eager to get their mitts into Firefox Metro can still download the Aurora 26 variant, though it’s still likely to be fairly unstable with problems still being ironed out by the Firefox Metro team.

Internet Explorer still leads the desktop browser market with an almost 57 per cent share of the market with Firefox still holding on to second place with 18.29 per cent. Google’s Chrome browser is hot on its heels with 17.76 per cent of the market with Apple’s Safari web browser further back with 5.42 per cent of the market.

Image Credit: Flickr (Titanas)