Some miserable news to start the week, one that actually came out towards the end of last, with Mozilla announcing that the Metro port of Firefox is now officially discontinued. Just like that.

And that too, so close to release of the premiere version.

The reason cited is one that is all too familiar — poor adoption of Microsoft’s Modern UI. The company says that people are not really all that much interested in a Metro version of the popular web browser, because not many people use it in the modern environment.

So much so that even though Firefox for Windows 8 was already available for beta testing, Mozilla did not record more than a thousand users a day:

“In the months since, as the team built and tested and refined the product, we’ve been watching Metro’s adoption. From what we can see, it’s pretty flat.

On any given day we have, for instance, millions of people testing pre-release versions of Firefox desktop, but we’ve never seen more than 1000 active daily users in the Metro environment.”

One can imagine the fact that it was the beta test version had nothing to do with it, right?

Mozilla further claims that while it could have shipped it like this, but doing so would mean very limited real-world testing. This would result in bugs, follow-up engineering, quality assurance, and more importantly diversion of resources to maintain the application.

Instead, the company has decided to focus more on projects that are more important for the company, like the desktop build of Firefox.

Which, between me and you, is now also stuck, stalled, and going nowhere really.

But with Firefox for Windows 8 now out of business (at least for the foreseeable future), Internet Explorer pretty much remains the sole choice for users that live and breathe the Modern UI in operating systems like Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

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  1. In a way, this is good for Microsoft. Internet Explorer now has the opportunity to improve and make a name for itself. The issue is obviously that consumers don’t have an option and if someone is really against explorer, it may discourage them from getting windows 8.

  2. Hey Fahad, fascinating article. Is chrome not available on the windows 8 OS as well? If that’s the case, is explorer the only actual option or are opera, safari, or another minor browser also an option?

  3. Bill Franklin / March 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm /Reply

    This truly upsets me. I am the biggest firefox fan you will find and not huge on explorer. I’m worried Windows 8 is going to hurt themselves by not allowing the user to choose other browsers. I hope this changes sooner rather than later.

    • You’re on the money, Bill. If you add up security, look, function, options, and everything else, I believe Firefox is far and away the best browser out there.

  4. I prefer Google Chrome as my browser, but I assume that’s not available either. I do think it’s bad news for Windows though because the numbers indicate that explorer is more susceptible to viruses and just isn’t as good overall as firefox right now. Just my two cents.

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