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
    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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Tannin @JDX

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

          Linux and Apple fanbois cheerleed their OS because then genuinely believe their system is excellent.

          Windows 8 / Metro fanbois just want to convince others to use their system so it becomes viable.

        2. JDX Gold badge

          Re: @Tannin @JDX

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

          I haven't ever said W8 Metro is good on the desktop. And my comment was not defending MS in any way.

          Perhaps you should realise that pointing out flaws in someone else's stupid argument doesn't mean you endorse whatever they are complaining about.

          But then making up lies (or being so blinkered you believe those lies) to try and score points is what being a rampant loser fanboi is all about.

    5. King Jack
      Trollface

      Re: no surprise here

      The only people using Metro are on TV. Every show shows someone tapping on a rectangle to launch something. I bet if you add them all up it comes to about 1000.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: no surprise here

        @King Jack and people reading this forum... Sent from my ATIV SmartPC 500.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: no surprise here

        Funny 'cause I thought everyone on TV were using more Fruity Computers... Then again perhaps I do watch to much Beeb...

        1. Tom 35 Silver badge

          Re: no surprise here

          Fruity Computers? Try

          http://youtu.be/nfHuZ5qrYX4

      3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: no surprise here

        "Every show shows someone tapping on a rectangle to launch something"

        It all started with a hospital scene in "Idiocracy". That touchscreen from the year 2505 was simply irresistible...

    6. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: no surprise here

      > the three remaining rusted-on weirdos who blindly adulate every Microsoft product ever made no matter what.

      > ^ 19 v 3

      Yes, those 3.

  4. Lars Silver badge

    "That's going to mean lots of bugs discovered in the field, requiring a lot of follow up engineering, design, and QA effort.".

    What the hell, there must be some limit to what you can demand from open source after all. Economics, children, terrorism. So sorry. No icon.

  5. P. Lee
    Windows

    re :Mozilla takes Windows 8-friendly Firefox out back ... two shots heard

    You are mistaken. Those weren't shots you heard, it was a hammer on nails. T.O.D. was much earlier.

    Good idea to bring the garlic though.

  6. Charles-A Rovira

    I wrote years ago that the antitrust punishment for Microsoft was to confine them to their platform at the time. Little did I know that this was precisely how it was to play out. Microsoft's nailed to the desktop. The rest of the world is mobile and kits existing markets are heading that way as well. It is its fate and its undoing. Microsoft's strategy for domination was played out by Google with Android for free, leaving Microsoft with no place to leverage its OEM presence and strategy.

  7. Roger Stenning
    Facepalm

    TWO shots?!

    At that range?! Jeeze. Someone needs some range practice.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: TWO shots?!

      Double tap, to make certain it is dead...

      1. mhoulden

        Re: TWO shots?!

        From what I've seen in a few online forums, Firefox Metro is about as popular as Microsoft Bob, so I'm surprised there weren't more.

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          Re: TWO shots?!

          Microsoft Bob was more popular. It was at lease naive and friendly. We could nurture it to health, at least as kindness. A kind of "OS sanctuary hospital" of sorts.

          Metro GUI however should be made into "glue". :P

          1. Steven Raith

            Re: TWO shots?! @technicalben

            ...or lasagne?

      2. cyrus

        Re: TWO shots?!

        Exactly. Leave NO witnesses.

  8. Graham Triggs

    Desktop users use the desktop

    Nobody ever gave a toss about Metro apps on the desktop.

    It would have been useful to have an alternative browser for Windows RT, but failing that there is no point for anyone to be doing a Metro interface.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Desktop users use the desktop

      It would have been nice to have Firefox for x86 tablets but if there's only 1000 daily users of Firefox in TIFKAM the rest are probably using it in desktop mode along with the rest of their productivity software.

      1. IT Drone
        Thumb Down

        Re: Desktop users use the desktop

        "... only 1000 daily users of Firefox in TIFKAM ..."

        I would be surprised if there are more than 1000 daily users of *any* of the Windows 8 kiddy mode apps if they have a desktop alternative. I pretty soon stopped visiting the bizarre TIFKAM world that Microsoft decided I would want on my new work PC.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Desktop users use the desktop

          My favourite is the calculator app which is just a simple non-scientific calculator which fills the entire screen and has no copy and paste. I'm sure on something phone-sized it makes sense, but it's found wanting even on tablets.

        2. Not That Andrew

          Re: Kiddy Mode

          Heh, I remember referring to the changes XP made to the interface as "Fisher-Price". I'm sure people will refer to whatever replaces TIFKAM in similar terms.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Kiddy Mode

            Actually XP was Teletubbies

  9. Paradroid

    Picking your battles...

    While I think they did the right thing canning this, I'm not sure they are picking their battles properly.

    I still use Firefox but only for the top-class dev tools, as a browser it's now dated and a little bit ugly. Because of Chrome I really dislike going back to a separate URL and search box.

    Meanwhile the news reports show that Mozilla is busy getting the Source engine running at high performance for games. Cool, but niche and should come second to the pure browsing experience.

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: Picking your battles...

      Strange as it seems to you some people actually prefer a UI they can customise.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        @ Not That Andrew

        You have no idea how relieved I was when my custom GUI migrated with the latest FireFox update from my 3+ years old layout/images etc.

        I'd been running in fear from the current FireFox GUI, only due to me having muscle memory etc I prefer to keep, as it's different.

        As said, I like the new GUI as much as any other, I just prefer not to relearn/change on individual systems/PCs or too often. So keeping my current setup for a little while longer until making a big change (say PC upgrade etc) is preferable. All the change at one time means I tend to stop trying to "grasp" for old buttons, and decide to take in all the "new" stuff. Where as monthly or incremental updates are rather confusing, especially if a dev team swap back and forth (seen it ingame GUIs/Alphas, though not in Browsers thankfully).

        1. Alan W. Rateliff, II

          Re: @ Not That Andrew

          "You have no idea how relieved I was when my custom GUI migrated with the latest FireFox update from my 3+ years old layout/images etc."

          Not for lack of trying, mind you. Every major "Nightly" release changes something in the GUI which moves stuff around and resizes other stuff on me. The new curved tab "feature" does not really sit well with me, though I handle it. What I really miss is the add-ons bar at the bottom, as now I do not have access to some of my favorite add-ons which still otherwise work even after over 9,000 iterations of Firefox, and the page title in the window title bar.

          DOH! I take the latter back... I just found the "title bar." Now if I could just as easily stumble across a way to REALLY disable to built-in media player (directshow and the other media layer setting just didn't fix it.)

          Firefox alphas -- adventure waiting to be discovered!

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Picking your battles...

      People like you are the Problem... How the blood blue **** does a Browser "Date" this is Firefox we're talking about not ruddy 'ol Mosaic v1.0 with it glories Text only Display. Which to be frank would at times be a MAJOR IMPROVEMENT!

      If you love Chrome that much then just push off. And Above all STOP FORKING WITH FIREFOX its fine the was it was... Before Build 25 came along and ruined it!

  10. Novex

    Take aim...

    I'm going to put my head above the parapet for a shooting, and argue that this is not a good thing to happen. While iOS and Android are arguably good systems, it helps to have a third player in the tablet and lightweight device space. If MS is to stand a chance of making much headway then they need organisations like Mozilla to be there with their apps. While Metro for the regular desktop and laptop PCs is pointless, it's a good system for touch-screen and gesture devices and it would be a shame to see it fail because of restrictive capabilites put in by MS. Any well-known apps for it could only help its chances. Mozilla pulling out doesn't help it at all.

    (need an icon for 'taking a bullet for my country', or being a devil's advocate)

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Take aim...

      Or ya, know MicroSoft could, actually make something that People might actually want. Instead of bunging their Ears going LALALALA Thinking that they somehow know it better then everyone else that was begging for Metro to take a long walk up a shot Dock. Back when Windows 8 was still in its Short Pants.

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Take aim...

      MS make it impossible for anyone to produce a browser for RT or Phone where it might be of some use, but on x86 it's got the same problem as not-Metro IE. That is it's not-Metro when no one wants that UI and has a choice. Why would I want to use it when I can use the desktop version*?

      *I have opened Metro IE once on purpose on my Windows 8.1 computer at work. Like the Metro calculator (opened once by mistake) why would anyone use it if they have a choice?

      1. Bod

        Re: Take aim...

        "That is it's not-Metro when no one wants that UI and has a choice. Why would I want to use it when I can use the desktop version*?"

        Try using desktop versions of almost any application on a touch-only tablet. Then you realise what Metro is actually good for.

        Example is Chrome. Utterly unusable with touch, even with the beta versions and touch features enabled. Many other apps are a struggle to use with touch. They are desktop apps, not touch apps.

        The problem Metro has is a vast negativity towards it based purely on desktop users not wanting it. Which is perfectly fair, but Metro is being shot down as unwanted when it's essential for the touch interface.

  11. UKHobo

    A good decision

    If only Mozilla had taken a more objective view on the Win8 outcome earlier in the day, say around Feb/March 2012 they could have saved themselves and everyone else involved in this folly all of that wasted effort. Some might say in response that hindsight is a wonderful thing however the feedback comments written in the consumer preview forum at that time foretell the tale of how this was going to work out.

    1. Vociferous

      Re: A good decision

      A lot of people simply refused to believe that it was physically possible for a Windows to bomb, and a lot of people assumed that the worst misfeatures (like the missing start menu and constant in-your-faceness of Metro) were things that Microsoft would quickly fix. You'll find words to that effect in nearly all reviews of the public beta.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: A good decision

        But you had to contend with the stituation inside microsoft where the important decision makers went around with their fingers in their ears going "lalallalalalalalala we cant hear you"

        Actually, it would be nice to read some of the internal m$ e.mails between the various departments while win8 was being built/tested......

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: A good decision

          Actually, it would be nice to read some of the internal m$ e.mails between the various departments while win8 was being built/tested......

          That would be a major best seller for whoever could manage to pull that one off.. Hell I could see the Screenplay being greenlighted for it now!

          1. Hans 1 Silver badge

            Re: A good decision

            I would imagine something along the lines:

            dev: I think this new ui design is just unusable, we cannot implement it properly - I would like to make it optional ... just thought I would let you know. (he actually already committed the hack to disable it and is protecting his arrears)

            program manager: No, no, you are to follow to the fabulous implementation specifics as defined, no altering allowed - this is going to be the best thing since sliced bread.

            dev: seriously ?

            program manager: listen, <some_top_brass_idiot> loves it, that is the way it will be.

            dev:ok, fine, sir! BTW, I quit now ... effective immediately, good luck

            ... some time later

            tester: I think this new ui thingy is a nuisance, I cannot use it properly

            program manager: No, no, you are not yet used to the fabulous system

            tester: seriously ?

            program manager: listen, <some_top_brass_idiot> loves it, that is the way it will be.

            tester: sir, yes that's fine, sir.

        2. Bladeforce

          Re: A good decision

          That would make the best comedic show of the year, a must watch

        3. Tom 35 Silver badge

          Re: A good decision

          "Actually, it would be nice to read some of the internal m$ e.mails between the various departments while win8 was being built/tested......"

          I'd like to see what followed the report "it seems people are using a registry hack to turn the start menu back on".

          And who decried the best answer was to remove the code so the hack would not work any more.

          1. Anonymous Bullard
            Pint

            Re: A good decision

            And who decried the best answer was to remove the code so the hack would not work any more.

            .. and what happened to the dev who put it there in the first place.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks Mozilla

    First creating FF that crashes (display driver) all the time in Win8 and now not broadcasting the possibility to have Metro-specific FF instread and thus cancelling the development of that one. Most likely the crashing problems of most recent FF would be identified in the side, but no.

    I am heavily concsidering to chsnge to other browsers - after using FF as main browser since its infancy.

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: Thanks Mozilla

      If its crashing your display driver then turn off hardware acceleration in FF. There isn't anything out there that actually depends on it (apart from the Angry Birds web app maybe?)

    2. Gerhard Mack

      Re: Thanks Mozilla

      If it's crashing your display driver than the bug is in the display driver and not Firefox.

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Thanks Mozilla

      I am heavily concsidering to chsnge to other browsers - after using FF as main browser since its infancy.

      That would make Two of us... But, WIndows (H)8 is otherwise quite innocent here. Where as Mozilla's constant dickering with FireFox ain't.

  13. Chakra

    One and half odd years of work....for nothing

    6 months after Windows 8 released, anybody that wasn't a MS shrill could have told you that Metro was going nowhere.

  14. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Its a damned shame he didn't save a few more rounds for all those Builds past 24 as well. Firefox is decaying away with each new release. Call me an Old Fart. But, WTF was so wrong with the way Firefox used to be in build 24, and before where you still had the option(s) of setting up your Browser the way YOU wanted to.. Instead of being forced to take what WE GIVE YOU, AND LIKE IT!

    Me thinks its time for someone new to re-enter the market and return the humble Browser back to some sanity. I mean really Hands up on those who never downloaded anything ever, and so never had a need of a Download Manager to spy on the length of your wait? Even if you can measure it with-in seconds? But, naghh **** that noise lets place that Download Manager within the History & Bookmarks Folder... FOR NO APPARENT REASON WHATS SO EVER!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is there any chance you could post a selfie from the middle of when you were typing that? I want to know if I was correct in imagining flecks of spittle clouding the air and occasional keycaps springing off into space as you pounded away...

    2. arctic_haze Silver badge

      >>Call me an Old Fart.<<

      Your wish is my command, Old Fart.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Sil

    Config destroyer

    I set it up for test and it badly broke IE. Couldn't use IE metro after that, even after a full uninstall of Mozilla beta. Took me quite some time to get everything back in order. I for one won't regret this beta, more of an alpha if you ask me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Config destroyer

      From the article's description of MS's 'one-browser-only' decision, it seems like this is one case where I'm pretty confident in blaming the OS rather than the application.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Config destroyer

        I think the 'one-browser-only' decision was in anticipation of a browser battle. They should be so lucky!

        Chrome's Metro browser isn't even 'metro', and FF realised it was a pointless platform.

        It wouldn't surprise me if MS helped fund the continuation of Metro FF, if only to make the platform viable for consumers.

  16. JLV Silver badge

    Ouch!

    Just came out of reading the article re decreasing Windows market share.

    That Firefox, due to lack of interest, is pulling out of supporting the latest and greatest intended Windows app "format" is a damning indictment on how widely Redmond has missed the mark. And how just far the Win8 decision makers have had their heads in the sand. Not to mention that browsers are very nearly the best use case for touch on desk/laptops.

    Beyond kicking out the hapless Ballmer, if I were a MS activist shareholder I would insist on some serious housecleaning and re-organization of product design, engineering and marketing decision-making in the coming year.

    This is a company that is losing its touch (sorry for the pun) with consumers and squandering huge dollops of the goodwill it had with non-hardcore IT users. And which is suffering serious brand erosion on its flagship offering.

    Not sure Nadella is the guy to fix things, but best of wishes anyway. A better Windows 9 will mean more pressure to innovate for Linux and OSX as well.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Ouch!

      You know a format has no users when it has no Opera browser. I can get Opera on my toaster... can I for Metro?

  17. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Happy

    Let's hope this attitude toward Microsoft accelerates exponentially. The sooner we're out of The Dark Age of Computing, aka the Windows era, the better.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Yes, just to return to the unix stone age of computer where you have to install your OS engraving it with a stone on your menhir hard disk....

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The silly thing is

    Microsoft can abuse the power of the default and, if anyone challenges them, say "Just look at what Apple is doing," because no one really challenged Apple's App Store restrictions. This is sad, because IE is no longer the most compatible browser by any stretch of the imagination.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: The silly thing is

      > This is sad, because IE is no longer the most compatible browser by any stretch of the imagination.

      Where do you come from ? WTF? You dare put ie and compatible in a sentence .... even IE 6 was not backwards compatible with ie 5 or 5.5, now, when you take ie6 as a base, 7 supports a couple of features, ie 8 canned ie6 compatibility altogether and I will not go on with 9, 10, and 11 ... each version has its own cul-de-sac feature list.

      You probably mean website support ? The above is reason enough for web devs to run from that nightmare platform as far and fast as possible and most already have.

      I remember with delight when I complained here and there that websites were shit because they only supported ie6 properly ... I still have some of the replies in my mailbox and, coming to think of it, I should probably forward them back with the message: "Thank you for growing balls!"

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad
      Windows

      Re: The silly thing is

      "Microsoft can abuse the power of the default"

      Well put. And not just this particular default. There is a long-running joke that in order to use MS products properly, you have to start by reversing all MS defaults you can find. An overstatement, yes, but quite humourous.

  19. Azzras

    No one uses Firefox

    desktop, metro, mobile....nope. NO ONE.

  20. Bladeforce

    100 users!!

    I have to call BS on that Mr Register unless there's some underhanded browser usage at Redmond behind the bosses backs.

    Good on Mozilla anyway why back a dead horse even Microsoft are turning their backs on

    I noticed a comment about IE above me here, people still use that willingly? Wow thats so 1999

  21. earl grey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    RIP Firefox Metro

    Too bad you succumbed to the rot known as Metro.

    We hardly knew ye.

    p.s. my multiple email accounts in Thunderbird work just fine.

  22. NogginTheNog

    1000 METRO users

    I've been running Windows 8/8.1 on my main desktop and laptop for over a year now (yes it's been hard going at times but with a Start Menu replacement app I've got through it!), and using Firefox for nearly all of my browsing during that time. the only times I've used ANY apps in Metro mode is when they've opened by default, and then I've mostly cursed and looked for the fastest way back to the Desktop!

    So that's possibly how by far the majority of FF Win8.x users have have been using their software as well? 1000 daily users is not a reflection on how popular FF has been on Win8x in total, but the Metro variant in particular.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: 1000 METRO users

      Interestingly, MS almost killed off the PC use for Solitaire. Anyone willing to install it via the Metro Store and use the GUI to play has super human ability.

      1. Bod

        Re: 1000 METRO users

        "Interestingly, MS almost killed off the PC use for Solitaire. Anyone willing to install it via the Metro Store and use the GUI to play has super human ability."

        It's perfect for touch however.

        Only flaw is it has adverts!

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: 1000 METRO users

      I've been using 8.1 on a Surface and the Metro version of IE works very well in "tablet touch mode", using the desktop IE via touch is far less comfortable, especially on a 10" screen. Sure, it's stupid on a large screen with no touch support. Metro apps work well on phone and tablets - the stupid idea was to force them on desktop users.

      I would have liked to test FF for Metro, but I wasn't going to replace the detault IE with a test FF, sorry, I use my tablet for my daily work, and couldn't use it as a test machine. Guess most users felt the same - Apple started with the "walled garden" game and everybody followed because they saw it worked very well. So RIP FF for Metro.

  23. GENGHIS7777

    One at a time...

    "Mind you, Redmond hasn't done browser makers any favors with the way Windows 8 is designed. Only one browser at a time is allowed to launch in Metro mode; when you register one, all of the others revert to being regular desktop apps. It's an inexplicable design choice, other than that it makes Windows 8 users less likely to try new browsers."

    I think you are being too cynical. They probably did this in order to reduce the resources required to run Win 8 on lower spec'd tablets.

    Personally I like using the Metro apps. They do get a bit of getting used to but they are fresh and after using them for a while, the Desktop equivalents feel old and dated.

  24. Le Adder Noir
    Unhappy

    Shame

    I was waiting for an alternative browser. I liked IE 10 but IE 11 is a shambolic piece of software. Several steps back. Am sadly stuck with it in Win 8.1.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm..

    Who pays for Firefox development? Answer = Google.

    And which platforms IS Firefox for Mobile currently available for? Answer = Google Android.

    A lot of companies would be delighted with 1000 unpaid active testers.

  26. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Meh

    Got to admit...

    ... the only feature in Metro I ever find myself using is the WindowsKey-D shortcut...

  27. PeterM42
    Thumb Down

    Just goes to show.......

    ........that Windows 8 is going NOWHERE!!

  28. ElectricFox
    Headmaster

    A new Register unit of measurement?

    To put that figure into perspective, there are nearly six times as many people living on Easter Island (or Rapa Nui, if you prefer) than were actively testing the Windows 8 version of Firefox.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More software developers should follow Mozilla's example

    Boycott the Metro/Modern/WinRT/Win8-optimised user interface.

    Stop following Microsoft's dictated paradigm. Windows 8 is a flop.

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