Mozilla’s Firefox is going Metro

The Mozilla Foundation is coding a specialized version of its flagship Firefox browser for Microsoft Windows 8 Metro. 

A concept version of the browser is slated to go live sometime during the second quarter of 2012, with subsequent alpha and beta releases scheduled for the second half of the year.

”The goal here is a new Gecko-based browser built for and integrated with the Metro environment. Firefox on Metro, like all other Metro apps will be full screen, focused on touch interactions, and connected to the rest of the Metro environment through Windows 8 contracts,” Mozilla explained in an official planning document, or roadmap.

“Our UI will adjust to show the most relevant content for each [appropriate screen] size. In order to provide users with access to other content, other apps, and to Firefox from other content and apps, we’ll need integration with the share contract, the search contract, the settings contract, the app to app picking contract, the print contract, the play to contract, and possibly a couple more. We’ll be a source for some, a target for some, and both for some.”

In addition to coding Metro-specific version of Firefox, Mozilla reiterated its plans to design a Web-based OS for mobile phones and tablets under the auspices of the Boot to Gecko project. According to the foundation, the Web-based OS would ultimately be capable of running HTML5, JavaScript and CSS directly on device hardware without the need for an intermediate OS layer.

“Firefox across PCs, tablets and smartphones, an independent identity system and HTML5 apps will lead the way toward a people-centered experience powered by Web technologies and principles,” Mozilla stated in its roadmap summary.