back to article Mozilla takes Windows 8-friendly Firefox out back ... two shots heard

Mozilla has bad news for Firefox users who are fans of Windows 8 and its new, touch-centric UI – all 1,000 of you, worldwide. On Friday, Firefox VP Johnathan Nightingale revealed that he had made the decision to "take the Windows Metro version of Firefox off the trains" – Mozilla-speak meaning he's canceled it. "Mozilla …

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  1. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Holmes

    It's an inexplicable design choice

    other than that it makes Windows 8 users less likely to try new browsers

    Not inexplicable at all, then.

  2. Gray
    Trollface

    1000 Users!

    As many as that? Really?

    1. Anonymous Bullard

      Re: 1000 Users!

      For Mozilla to flush an 18 month project at the final stages shows how dismal the Windows Store really is. MS can't spin that.

      Can't help but feel sorry for those who've committed their time and money to Metro... but I'm glad I dodged it.

      1. Penti

        Re: 1000 Users!

        It's not actually a Windows Store-app (WinRT) but a regular desktop Win32-process that has to emulate the Modern-behavior inside Mozilla's XUL. It installs via the regular installer on the desktop. Their own built in apps aren't really Windows Store/startscreen apps either, like the store itself and their own browser. The Store is actually a win32 process that can't install win32 programs. It makes zero sense, and already with 8.1 update 1 or whatever they want to call it, the spiritual SP2 you get startscreen apps that behaves more sane and can be accessed from the desktop. The split that they tried to force will fall apart.

      2. JDX Gold badge

        Re: 1000 Users!

        "For Mozilla to flush an 18 month project at the final stages shows how dismal the Windows Store really is. MS can't spin that."

        What about Chrome? Is there a Metro version of that?

        1. Vociferous

          Re: 1000 Users!

          > What about Chrome? Is there a Metro version of that?

          Kindof, sortof. There's a Chrome which runs under Metro but it has Chrome OS interface.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 1000 Users!

        "For Mozilla to flush an 18 month project at the final stages shows how dismal the Windows Store really is. MS can't spin that."

        This is just proof that Mozilla can't deliver the goods. They have a long history of failing to deliver (Thunderbird) and not knowing how the real world works (Dell).

        They are also distracted with FirefoxOS. Another project that will be par-baked and then abandoned.

        Finally, MS. has done such an excellent job with the entire Win8 stack that there is simply no need to risk running unofficial software.

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: 1000 Users!

          Mozilla means absolutely nothing to me, but I challenge you to identify another software company that has more than one product, all of which meet the same standards as their flagship product.

          It's great fun to poke fun at software companies, but you ought to give it a try sometime. It doesn't matter if it is MS, Red Hat, Mozilla, whoever, or what sort of business model they're using, sending a product out to millions of users is a significant accomplishment.

          Very few companies/organizations can survive on a single product. None can do it without absolutely fucking the customer. Even a tiny organization that maintains a strict budget and headcount is quickly consumed by costs which never, ever stop escalating. To deal with that you've got to try new things, most of which will fail.

          Mozilla is doing the right thing in continuing to look for additional, well received, offerings. The Google money will dry up one day and they're preparing for that inevitable moment. Actual forward thinking vs 'fuck it, let's just strangle the customers and industry' is a value that is, sadly, sorely lacking in the majority of recognizable names in tech.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: 1000 Users!

          "no need to risk running unofficial software"

          What makes you think MS software, including the OS itself is "official" in any way, shape or form?

          1. Don Jefe

            Re: 1000 Users!

            You can easily verify your Microsoft software is Genuine Microsoft software by looking at the shiny sticker on the side of the package. It'll say Genuine Microsoft right there on it.

            Holy shit! Mozilla should get some shiny stickers and email one to you with each download!

            Alternatively, install the software, and if you haven't had your identity stolen or your customer database smeared across the Internet within 90 days you'll know you've been ripped off. Microsoft really goes the extra mile to give their customers confidence in their purchases.

            1. asdf Silver badge

              Re: 1000 Users!

              >Finally, MS. has done such an excellent job with the entire Win8 stack that there is simply no need to risk running unofficial software

              Which Microsoft shill JDX or Don Jefe? They often troll without even realize it by being serious.

              1. Don Jefe

                Re: 1000 Users!

                I've commented on this before, but I feel that it deserves repeating. I really appreciate the service you and your kind (my publisher calls you the 'low capacity' market) provide. This last Saturday, I learned that for 2013 I cleared over $300k just for the nine articles and four textbook chapters I authored last year. I get a pretty good rate to begin with, but nearly half of that money is from various 'low capacity' groups ordering many thousands of reprints and as well as web publication rights for line by line rebuttals.

                That's pretty good you know. It almost pays for the stable hands, food and veterinary care for my horses. There are 31 of them, so it takes a lot to deal with it all. Thanks to the power of poor reading comprehension, and the general ignorance of certain people in your category, I can make that much money with less than 70 hours of work a year. You should come by my Virginia farm sometime. You can see what you've help build. I'll let you muck out some stalls if you want. Free beer and bourbon too. Pay for your own Scotch.

                1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

                  Re: 1000 Users!

                  Careful there Don, you don't want to turn into Jake,

                2. This post has been deleted by its author

                3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

                  Re: 1000 Users!

                  Hmh. There is a fine line between a thought-provoking post, and just provoking, it's so delicate and so easy to cross.

                  Have an upvote, though. For the previous posts, which would have deserved several upvotes instead of the one they got.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 1000 Users!

            If it is not certified by the NSA, then it's not official. Tell you what, official smitial, my right here darn toothbrush app is official as it gets. Hell it even bakes you a turd pie on the weekend. (Runs off beating own head to escape reality.)

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: 1000 Users!

      Yes, and if you correlate that to other numbers published here

      http://regmedia.co.uk/2014/03/14/statcounter_large.jpg

      it means that those 1000 users are probably the roughly 7% of all desktop users running Windows 8... which means that there are about 14 thousand desktop PCs in the world.

      Even when we assume only 1% of the Windows 8 users run Firefox, we still only end up at 1.4 million desktop PCs.

    3. LarsG

      Re: 1000 Users!

      Prove it!

  3. Tannin

    no surprise here

    1: No-one uses Metro anyway. Well, not enough people to be worth mentioning.

    2: The few - the very few - who do are, in the main, either (a) the completely clueless types who just click on stuff in the vague hope that E stands for Internet, and (b) the three remaining rusted-on weirdos who blindly adulate every Microsoft product ever made no matter what.

    The latter group have not the faintest interest in using Firefox, or indeed any non-Microsoft browser, while the former battle to understand what a web browser is, never mind how to install one without calling their grandchildren.

    So that leaves ... well, that leaves no-one.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: no surprise here

      I've been waiting two years for this. I've been using Firefox since it was called Phoenix. The problem is, most people don't have time for testing, they wait for the official release.

      To be honest, IE11 has come a long way and is a lot faster and easier to use than Firefox these days, but I miss NoScript and Flashblock, which have kept me loyal on the desktop, in the hope that they would release a touch friendly version... Now, I'm not sure which way to go.If IE supported NoScript, I'd switch tomorrow.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: no surprise here

        @big_D

        A bit old, but still valid... if you use internet explorer, your opinion does not count!

    2. Jemma Silver badge

      Re: no surprise here

      *three* rusted on weirdos?

      Now what did I tell you about Eadon & cloning? Yes that's right, its a bad idea!

      Microsoft aren't helping themselves - a dual boot device in the mobile space couldn't do anything but help their prospects - especially since office-esque apps are still playing catch up on Android. In some ways its like watching a US version of the BL death slide. I honestly can't see them pulling their way out of it - unless they kill 8.x on the desktop with fire & manage to pull a miracle combination of XP & 7 out of the hat... as has been previously stated a company like Mozilla pulling a product is bad enough but are they only the first? MS should be begging for dual boot everywhere - not trying to kill it.

      1. Vociferous

        Re: no surprise here

        > MS should be begging for dual boot everywhere - not trying to kill it.

        They're begging for dual boot where they're weak (mobile phones), not where they're strong (PC:s), as dual-booting with a weaker competitor only helps the competitor.

        For the exact same reason Google isn't interested in having Windows dual boot with Android on mobile phones.

        From the customer's point of view, dualboot or no is not a major issue, but it would benefit customers to be able to choose what OS to install on their cellphones.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: no surprise here

          > as dual-booting with a weaker competitor only helps the competitor.

          Also secure boot inhibits dual boot even after the customer owns the machine.

          > From the customer's point of view, dualboot or no is not a major issue,

          Except that it is likely to cause the phone to be more expensive. For two reasons: the license fee for WP (which may temporarily become 'free') and having to make the phone with hardware that supports both OS (WP has limited support for modern SoCs).

          A couple or 4 years ago there were some 'x86 Windows tablets' offered for sale here. They dual booted with Windows 7 and Android. They had Office on board and were only a couple of hundred dollars more than an equivalent ARM Android. It turns out in the fine print that Windows and Office were time limited 'Trial' versions. After a couple of months the cost doubled - or reverted to being an expensive Android.

          1. Vociferous

            Re: no surprise here

            > secure boot inhibits dual boot

            Yes, it seems to me as if the main purpose of "secure boot" is to prevent the installation of alternative OS's.

            > Except that it is likely to cause the phone to be more expensive.

            It might, yes. As I said, I'd prefer to be able to decide which single OS I want installed on my cellphone.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: no surprise here

            "Also secure boot inhibits dual boot even after the customer owns the machine."

            Wrong. Just install the keys. In point of fact, MS insists on this being possible on PCs.

            So it's possible, the "boogeyman" insists it be possible and it still protects the user. What more do you want?

            1. Vociferous

              Re: no surprise here

              > Wrong

              Secure Boot is junk. It solves a nearly nonexistent problem (boot sector viruses -- I haven't even seen one since I owned an Amiga!) by adding an encryption mechanism which only Microsoft owns the keys to, and which can and already has been used to prevent installation of other OS's.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: no surprise here

                "only Microsoft owns the keys to#

                Wrong. VeriSign is in charge. I think you need to loosen the tin-foil hat and let some blood back to your brain.

                1. Vociferous

                  Re: no surprise here

                  > Wrong.

                  Yeah, you're right -- it would be more accurate to say that they own the lock. Let's say I develop a new spiffy Linux distro and buy a certificate from VeriSign so users can actually install it and dual boot it. Microsoft decides they don't like my face and blacklist my certificate and send out the blacklisting via Windows Update. My distro is now locked out from all new windows-compatible hardware unless secure boot is disabled -- which newbie users wont dare do.

                  Microsoft allows installation of OS's other than Windows on intel-based machines only because of Microsoft's dominance there make them sensitive to accusations of abusing their near-monopoly. On pads they're a bit player, so there Microsoft claims that "anything running on ARM chips isn't a PC" and have disallowed turning off Secure boot, so one can't install a new OS on, say, a Surface RT.

                  Secure boot is Microsoft DRM which masquerades as a security feature because it also stops bootsector viruses.

                  1. LDS Silver badge

                    Re: no surprise here

                    Microsoft can not blacklist a valid certificate from a valid CA - do you know how the PKI model works? Moreover Windows cannot blacklist certificates outside itsefl - the boot certificates aren't handle by Windows.

                    All your rant show you - and all your upvoters - didn't understand anything about what secure boot works.

                    Secure boot is the only way to ensure the whole boot chain is safe and runs only allowed software.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: no surprise here

                      Secure boot is the only way to ensure the whole boot chain is safe and runs only allowed software.

                      But the reasons MS have decided to make OEMs enforce it is to make is more difficult to install another OS - under the masquerade of making the system more secure. But secure against what, exactly? Is pre-boot malware really that rife in the Windows world? In 2014?? I don't believe Windows is that insecure. But perhaps it is, since all the pro-windows jumping over joy about knowing your OS hasn't been modified.

                      However, my guess is that you haven't been slapped in the face by Secure Boot because you only use Windows, or the OEM was feeling kind.

                      It isn't bad for you, so therefore there's no problem... so you have it in yourself to talk down to anyone who dares say otherwise. You believe MS, they've never shafted you.. have they?

                      http://www.eightforums.com/installation-setup/19739-before-you-dual-boot-truth-about-ms-oem-s-linux.html

                      1. Trixr Bronze badge

                        Re: no surprise here

                        So TURN IT OFF. Other than for RT devices, the MS implementation for Secure Boot specifies that there must be a mechanism to disable it (as well as customise it with your own keys, if desired).

                        It takes about 2 mins in the Win 8 GUI to find the setting and disable it.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: no surprise here

                          I have this car that has a safety mechanism that the clutch must be depressed in order for the starter to engage. I don't like that behaviour and so by passed that. I took all of ten minutes. I also don't like ABS. So I took out the fuse. That took 1 minute to find and remove. Do you think the average car owner around the world is comfortable doing this?

                          1. LDS Silver badge

                            Re: no surprise here

                            Those are not designed to be disabled by the user. Secure Boot is.

                          2. Robert Grant

                            Re: no surprise here

                            We aren't talking about average owners. If someone wants to remove Windows and install Linux, do you really think they won't be able to disable this? This is such a rubbish line of reasoning; it's only upvoted because people don't like SecureBoot.

                            (I don't like SB either, but I also don't like morons who go along with the majority conclusion, and then talk absolute rubbish that supports it.)

                          3. Don Jefe

                            Re: no surprise here

                            For what it's worth, it's a really bad idea to simply remove the fuse from the ABS pump. Disabling the ABS pump doesn't leave you with traditional braking system any more than bypassing the power steering pump with a short belt will leave you with rack and pinion steering (it won't).

                            If the ABS pump is disabled the rest of the brake system is still working, but at an incredibly decreased capacity. Without the ABS pump the hydraulic system is forced to actuate the gates in the system which, in a sustained heavy braking situation, can cause the brake fluid to overheat reducing stopping power even further. If you regularly drive/brake aggressively the seals in the calipers will experience severely shortened life with potentially catastrophic results.

                            Plus, your car will think you are retarded or that it is incredibly broken. The Hall effect sensors at each wheel (unaffected by the dead ABS pump) will still be sending information to the body control module/computer and causing both your brake system failure light and check engine light to remain lit with the key in run position.

                            If you want a car without ABS then you should either buy one, or have someone properly replace the brake system on your car. Otherwise you're going to hurt yourself, or someone else.

                      2. LDS Silver badge

                        Re: no surprise here

                        If something can boot before your OS - think some kind of hypervisor - your're p0wned whatever OS you're using - Windows, Linux, OSX, Solaris... it's not a Windows issue, and if fact not only Windows machines uses it - Apple does as well, why?

                        I'm not afraid of Secure Boot because I know how it works and how to install different OSes if I need so, and because I do not use cracked software I don't bother about Secure Boot blocking it.

                        And the real reason of being very afraid of Secure Boot is not "freedom", is "thievery" - all those "Linux fans" running cracked copies of Windows on their systems... very afraid they will have to use Linux really....

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: no surprise here

                      "Secure boot is the only way to ensure the whole boot chain is safe and runs only allowed software."

                      You forgot to capitalise "boot". Something like that may be true. However, with all the holes in their OS, MS have much bigger problems to worry about than running non-verified code. Have you seen any sort of boot sector virus recently? Ever? Are you too young to remember them? Well, listen here sleepy, boot sector viruses do not travel across the Internet, which is how most boxes that have have a MS OS on them get attacked and owned. Catch a clue.

                      1. LDS Silver badge

                        Re: no surprise here

                        My daily job is in IT security and malware analysis. What's yours, coward? I'm over forty, how young are you? Secure boot doesn't protect you from "boot sector virurses". It ensure everything run from boot onwards is allowed - and thereby can't be used to exploit "OS holes".

                        You have no clue about how machines are attacked and owned actually, believe me.

                        I know what you're worried about. You are afraid you can no longer install cracked software and thereby you have to pay for your software, eventually.

                        1. This post has been deleted by its author

                    3. Mr. Chuck
                      Mushroom

                      Re: no surprise here

                      Does that include NSA implants?

                      And if Secureboot allows me to boot windows, well, it's not very accurately named is it? Windows is still a toy after 30 years. cf http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/03/11/microsoft_adobe_patch_tuesday/

                2. LDS Silver badge

                  Re: no surprise here

                  It's perfectly useless trying to explain how it works really - like all fanboys they will deny truth even if it's slapping their faces. They truly believe MS is using Secure Boot to stop that 1.46% of Linux machines take over the world... that's why they live in basements with tinfoil hats, wating for the "Coming of Linux" - unluckily there is no selenium-grid building around to invoke it from Gozer world...

              2. LDS Silver badge

                Re: no surprise here

                Yes, you will not be able to see any malware that boots before your OS.... and the key are not hold by MS. You just need to pay Verisign to obtain a certifcate for your OS - of course because the word "pay" makes basement Linux fanboys cry, it's better to believe it's the evil MS who holds the Keys...

              3. Alan W. Rateliff, II

                Re: no surprise here

                "It solves a nearly nonexistent problem (boot sector viruses -- I haven't even seen one since I owned an Amiga!)"

                Oh, thank $_DEITY! I am relieved to know pre-loading rootkits were just figments of our imaginations.

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: no surprise here

      2: The few - the very few - who do are, in the main, either (a) the completely clueless types who just click on stuff in the vague hope that E stands for Internet, and (b) the three remaining rusted-on weirdos who blindly adulate every Microsoft product ever made no matter what.

      Suhhh you'll invoke the wrath of the MicroShills with Speak like that!

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: no surprise here

        >>Suhhh you'll invoke the wrath of the MicroShills with Speak like that!

        >Your arrogance is matched only by your ignorance.

        Too late lol.

    4. JDX Gold badge

      @Tannin

      Your arrogance is matched only by your ignorance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Re: @Tannin @JDX

        Sir,

        And your blind defence of Microsoft's biggest ever GUI design blunder is only matched by your fanboy zealotry.

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