Mozilla preparing touch-enabled Firefox for Windows 8


Mozilla has released a touch-enabled, beta version of its Firefox browser for Windows 8.

The organisation has been working on it since October 2012. The beta is one of the first fruits of that work.

The browser sports touch-enabled features for the operating system to help users get the best possible experience from the browser on Windows 8-based touchscreen laptops and tablets.

It features a new tile-based Firefox start screen with one-tap access to popular sites, bookmarks and history. Mozilla stressed users familiar with desktop versions of the browser would still be able to access features such as the Awesome Bar.

Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta supports touch and swipe gestures such as pinch to zoom' and one-touch swipe transitions.

Other features include: Full, Snapped and Fill views that let users choose it they want to view an app full-screen, or snapped' to a narrow region of the screen. It will also fill any remaining screen area not taken up by another app in a "snapped" state.

There is also visual navigation with big tiles on the start screen to make browsing better by making the process easier to recognise and tap. This interface also simplifies auto-complete and makes for easier searching.

The browser also integrates with Windows Share so users can easily share content with others through any installed social network.

Mozilla warned before any testing of the beta version, Firefox should be made the default browser for a Windows 8 system and asked users to share feedback and bugs with the organisation.

Mozilla has yet to make any firm commitment to moving from the beta version to a general, stable release.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.