A new prototype of the upcoming Firefox browser has recently been revealed and at the heart of the system is a Metro-friendly navigation system. For those not familiar with Metro, it’s the brand-spanking new way users of Windows 8 will navigate the operating system. Gone is the old “Start” menu, replaced with “tiles” that represent applications.
For users of touchscreen devices, like tablet computers and smartphones, this will mean sliding around and accessing programs with finger taps and flicks.
The new Firefox integrates these ideas. The most popular part of the updated browser may be its “snap” function, which allows users to place applications side by side.
Of course, there are lots of other things the new browser will do, as outlined by company representative, Brian Bondy:
“You can navigate the web, create tabs, bookmark pages, build history, retain cache, adjust preferences, and more,” Bondy said.
Unfortunately, there may be trouble ahead for Mozilla and Microsoft. Right now, Mozilla’s new browser is designed to work as both a traditional desktop application and a Metro app. Unless it’s set as the default web browser on a system, it will automatically revert to the traditional interface design. Because it’s likely Internet Explorer 10 will ship with Windows 8 and will be set as the default browser, all the new-fangled ideas going into the updated Firefox might be overlooked.
That’s obviously a problem for Mozilla and could be an issue for Microsoft if companies opposing the guidelines see them as anti-competitive.
We’ll know more about the situation as Windows 8 nears its fall release date. There’s also plenty more time to see what else Mozilla has in store for its new and improved Internet browser.