With Windows 8′s official launch right around the corner (October 26th), Mozilla is scrambling to finish their Modern UI version of Firefox. Today Mozilla released its first preview build of Firefox for Windows 8’s Modern UI, called Firefox Metro Preview. Users can now download and test this newest version of Firefox.
Firefox Metro Preview has two interface modes: it can function as a desktop version of Firefox or as a Modern UI application. To enable the Modern UI interface, users must set “Nightly” as the default browser in Windows.
Let’s take a look at the new touch features of Firefox Metro Preview.
The first thing users will notice is that the interface has been redesigned. The home screen is a pleasure to use and looks just like the Start screen for the Modern UI. There are tiles for your most visited sites and bookmarks.
Speaking of bookmarks, Mozilla has redesigned how Firefox will handle bookmarks. Folders are gone and replaced with ‘lists’ instead. Mozilla claims that no bookmarks will go unsorted, making unruly bookmark databases a thing of the past.
One of the more impressive interface touches of Firefox Metro Preview is its live, animated thumbnails of currently opened tabs. When you swipe down from the top to access your tabs, you can see each tab as a thumbnail. If there are ads or video running in that tab, it will be reflected in its live preview.
Search has been revamped and integrated into Windows 8’s search function. Just activate universal search by pressing ‘Windows + F’ and choosing to search with Firefox. If you’re using a tablet, you can just swipe in from the right bezel to activate the Windows charms and search from there.
Firefox Metro Preview provides us with a early look at what we can expect from Firefox when Windows 8 launches. At this point, even with this early preview build, Firefox Metro Preview is leaps and bounds more useful and better designed than Google Chrome for the Modern UI.
You can read our official review of Firefox Metro Preview here.