Mozilla: Help us test touch-optimized Firefox for Windows 8

With the newly released version 26 of the Aurora test edition, geared for Windows tablets, Mozilla wants help debugging the browser.

Mozilla is adapting Firefox for the touch-centric Windows 8 interface.
Mozilla is adapting Firefox for the touch-centric Windows 8 interface. Mozilla

Mozilla has released a new "touch-friendly" test version of Firefox geared for the new interface of Windows 8, and it's hoping the public will help squash its bugs.

The new Firefox Aurora version 26, which later will become the beta and then final version of the open-source browser, includes a number of features geared for the newer version of Windows.

"It has a tile-based Firefox Start experience and supports Firefox Sync, Windows 8 touch and swipe gestures, Snapped and Fill views, and Windows Share integration all delivered with a streamlined, modern, and beautiful interface," Mozilla said in a weekend blog post. It also comes with a new icon geared for the monochromatic style of Windows 8 start-page tiles.

The new Aurora includes hardware-accelerated video, 3D graphics with the WebGL interface, and the new asm.js technology designed to dramatically speed up some JavaScript software. It can play video encoded with the proprietary H.264 codec that Mozilla previously had shunned but eventually chose to support when it's built into the operating system.

"Over the coming weeks, we'll be almost exclusively focused on improving performance and responsiveness," Mozilla said of the new Aurora release. "This is still a preview and while most of the features are very nearly complete, we know there are bugs."

Firefox Aurora icon on Windows 8

Microsoft initially planned to restrict some abilities of all browsers except Internet Explorer on Windows 8's new interface, formerly called Metro, but browser rivals persuaded it to relent. However, those restrictions are still in effect for Windows RT , which runs on computers with ARM processors and which is geared especially for tablets. Mozilla and Google objected to that restriction, saying their browsers can't compete with IE when it comes to performance and security.

 

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