Move over Chrome, preview of Firefox for Windows 8 expected in September

Firefox for Windows 8 with top sitesMozilla already announced plans earlier in the year to offer a Modern UI (formerly known as Metro) version of its popular browser, but now new details are beginning to emerge, including a few carefully placed screenshots like the one above.

Brian R. Bondy, a developer working on the project, posted an update to his blog outlining Mozilla’s progress and goals for the fall release.

“Work on the Metro style enabled desktop browser has progressed steadily and things are looking really good,” Bondy writes.

According to Bondy, a preview version of Firefox will be available first as a beta release, planned for later in the year. The preview will be styled as a “combined classic + metro browser” with classic desktop user interface elements for tabbed browsing and navigation.

The Mozilla team still has a lot of work to do before beta release, but a few features have already been successfully implemented. Some are of little interest to the average user, referring to programmer-specific details. But others like a built-in PDF viewer (no need for a plug-in), an option to view a page on the desktop when in the Metro version, windowless Flash, and auto-populated search results below the URL bar are all promising.

Add-ons will not be included in the initial release when in Metro-mode — much like IE’s Metro browser — but Mozilla hopes to enable them eventually. Syncing between the desktop and Metro versions of the browser is also in development. Bondy hopes to find some sort of local sync functionality requiring zero set-up, but says he and the rest of the team can always default to the current syncing solution if needed.

Firefox for Windows 8 with auto search results

Based on some screenshots posted by developers working on the project, Firefox for Windows 8 will borrow a little inspiration from its Android version with a sprinkling of Modern UI on top. The simple URL bar at the top of screen makes the design look neat and clean, though it’s oddly located at the top rather than the bottom — Microsoft’s preferred position. The tiled bookmarks are a welcome addition as well, an improvement over the traditional drop-down menu.

Google may have beat Mozilla to the punch on Windows 8 with a Chrome dev release tailored to the Modern UI design, but from what we’ve seen and read so far, it seems Firefox will do a much better job of competing with Internet Explorer’s tiled interface than Chrome, which basically ported its desktop design to Windows 8. 

Product Review

Origin's Chronos PC is no looker, but it plays games with eye-popping detail

The Chronos is Origin’s smallest PC, but while it occupies less space than most A/V receivers, it delivers the power of a much larger desktop. Its dull exterior design does the system a disservice. Once you turn it on, you won’t be…
Computing

Always have way too many tabs open? Google Chrome might finally help

Google is one step closer to bringing tab groups to its Chrome browser. The feature is now available in Google's Chrome Canady build with an early implementation that can be enabled through its flag system.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

How good are you at spotting phishing scams? Take this quiz to find out

Are you able to discern between a legitimate email and one that's a scam designed to phish for your personal information? Google created an online quiz with tips to help you better understand phishing so you don't become a victim.
Gaming

Can't stand keyboard gaming on PC? Here's how to use a PS3 controller instead

Properly connecting a PlayStation 3 Controller to a PC is no easy task, especially when you opt for third-party peripherals. Thankfully, our guide will help you through the process.
Computing

Zipping files on a Chromebook? Follow these four easy steps

Chromebooks support file compression, though they work a little differently than on Windows or Mac. Here's the step-by-step process to zipping files on a Chromebook, and then unzipping them again for extraction.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Computing

Patent application reveals what’s to come after AMD’s Graphics Core Next

A published patent application from AMD has revealed a new type of graphics processor core which could make a big difference to the capabilities of its GPUs if it finds its way into them in the future.
Computing

Microsoft targets Chrome OS with $189 Windows 10 laptops for education

Microsoft announced seven new low-cost Windows 10 laptops, all priced under $300 to take on Chromebooks and iPads in the education market, along with a new Microsoft Allora stylus for students using the Surface Go tablet.
Computing

Lenovo patent hints at a future tablet with a folding screen

Folding devices are a new trend, and according to a recent patent, Lenovo is considering a foldable 2-in-1 with a hinge mechanism that would allow consumers to bend back the screen on the device. 
Computing

Wifi Porter is a high-tech block of wood that lets you share your broadband

Tired of manually connecting your guests to your home Wi-Fi network? The latest invention from the folks at Ten One Design, the WifiPorter, allow individuals to connect to your Wi-Fi with the tap of their phone, or by scanning an available…