Mozilla Cancels Firefox For Metro, Cites Fewer Than 1,000 Daily Active Users

Mozilla today announced that it will halt development of its Firefox for Windows 8 Metro browser after about a year-and-a-half of development.

According to Mozilla’s Firefox VP Jonathan Nightingale, the organization has never seen more than 1,000 active daily users for the Metro app, so in order to free up resources for products that have traction, Mozilla has decided to pull the plug on this project. Mozilla’s other pre-release version of Firefox, he says, are being tested by millions of users.

“Mozilla builds software to make the world better, but we have to pick our battles,” Nightingale writes. “We’re not as tiny as we were when we shipped Firefox 1.0, but we still need to focus on the projects with the most impact for our mission; the massive scale of our competitors and of the work to be done requires us to marshal our forces appropriately.”

Earlier this year, Mozilla pushed the launch data for a stable version of Firefox for Metro back to the middle of this month after it had previously targeted February. Clearly, though, the team had a change of heart given the low adoption. 

It’s been a rough road for Firefox for Metro from the start. In the early days of Windows 8, it wasn’t even clear if Microsoft would ever allow other browsers to run in Metro mode, but in the end, it just kept them out of the Windows RT environment (and few people ever bought an RT machine anyway). A nightly build of Firefox for Metro launched back in February 2013, but the release date for the stable version was later pushed back a few times, leading up to today’s cancellation of the project.

Even though Mozilla has stopped development, it will continue to host the code. Should Windows 8’s Metro mode ever get wide adoption — anything is possible, after all — the team could always go back to the existing code base and get it ready for release.

Google, by the way, still continues to support Chrome for Metro, but it has decided to give its browser a slightly different spin there. Instead of only focusing on the browser, it is essentially replicating Chrome OS in Metro mode.