Mozilla cancels Metro version of Firefox

Posted on Monday, Mar 17 2014 @ 13:34 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Bit Tech picked up news that Mozilla decided to cancel the Modern UI version of Firefox just days before its scheduled release. The foundation started development of the Modern UI variant of Firefox amid fears that third-party browsers would be locked out of the Modern UI entirely and beliefs that Modern UI would become the next battleground for the web. This couldn't be further from the truth though so Mozilla decided to just publish the source code and cancel further development.
'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,' Nightingale explained in a formal blog post '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.

'This leaves us with a hard choice. We could ship it, but it means doing so without much real-world testing. That’s going to mean lots of bugs discovered in the field, requiring a lot of follow up engineering, design, and QA effort. To ship it without doing that follow up work is not an option. If we release a product, we maintain it through end of life. When I talk about the need to pick our battles, this feels like a bad one to pick: significant investment and low impact.

'Instead, we pull it. This opens up the risk that Metro might take off tomorrow and we’d have to scramble to catch back up, but that’s a better risk for us to take than the real costs of investment in a platform our users have shown little sign of adopting,' Nightingale concluded.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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