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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mozilla Firefox 28 is now available for download


Mozilla has released Firefox version 28.0 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android platforms. The update brings a few new features and improvements to the web browser. Version 28 of Firefox for Windows was also supposed to bring the long-awaited Windows 8 Metro version of the browser, but it was removed from the final version citing poor demand.

You can download the update to your device by heading over to Help > About on your Firefox browser or by pointing your browser to Firefox.com. You can also download the latest version and install the update manually using the links which follow:

You can download Firefox for Android version 28 directly on your device through the Google Play Store or by using the link which follows:

Download
Download from the Google Play Store
Price Free
Requirements Android 4.2 or greater


What's new in Firefox version 28 for Android

For Android, version 28 adds a lot of cool features – such as predictive lookup from the address (Awesome) bar, the addition of quick share buttons, and support for OpenSearch.


What's new in Firefox version 28 for Windows, Mac and Linux

On the desktop side of the equation, though, Firefox 28 adds support for the VP9 video codec. The Windows 8 Metro version of the browser didn't make it to the final version of Firefox 28 as, Mozilla’s vice president for Firefox decided to terminate the project and pull the code out.

Speaking on Mozilla’s official Firefox Beta blog, vice president Jonathan Nightingale paints a stark picture of Microsoft’s touch-oriented Metro interface. Back in 2012, when the Firefox for Metro team was formed, Mozilla, like Microsoft believed that the Metro interface would be “the next battleground for the Web. Windows is a massive ecosystem and Microsoft pushes its new platforms hard.” In Nightingale’s defense, I think we all thought that the Metro interface would at least experience some measure of success. I don’t think anyone predicted that Windows 8′s touch interface would tank as hard as it has done.

After a lot of hard work, Firefox for Windows 8 Touch was eventually released to the alpha and beta testing public. To help with the testing process, Mozilla tracks the usage of its alpha and beta browsers - and, in the case of Metro, the usage statistics were very bad indeed:
“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. 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.”
As a result, Mozilla was faced with a hard decision: Ship the Metro version of Firefox, knowing that it hadn’t been appropriately beta tested and was probably still full of bugs… or just pull it completely. There was another option - to continue developing and testing it for future release - but, given how few people are interested in the Metro version, Mozilla decided to focus its efforts on other areas. “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.”

Nightingale admits that Firefox now runs the risk of being left behind if Metro suddenly becomes very popular (Chrome has had a stable Metro version since January) - but honestly, I think at this point we can all agree that any gains made by Metro will come as a result of painstakingly small victories won by Microsoft over a scale of months and years, not days and weeks.


source - ExtremeTech
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