Firefox for Windows 10 design guidelines get revealed by Mozilla

Recently it was revealed that Mozilla would be making a version of its popular Firefox browser for Windows 10, but at the time details were pretty scarce. More details about the browser, specifically the design specifications, have been revealed. In addition, a few of the first images showing how the browser will look have been made available as well.

On the surface, the Windows 10 version of Firefox looks very similar to the version that is available now, and that was done on purpose. Chad Weiner, director of product management, told VentureBeat:

"The design appears familiar because its goal is to provide a smooth transition for Firefox Windows users. We wanted to make sure that Firefox showed up on Windows 10 as a first-class experience, so we've made a lot of subtle tweaks to the look and feel that both sit well in the Windows 10 context and are definitively Firefox. We're taking visual cues from style changes appearing in Windows 10 and we're also reducing the overall browser UI footprint to increase space for viewing the Web."

Support for Windows 10 was added in Firefox 40, which is currently available through the company's beta channel. It is said that the browser will move to stable channel mid-August.

Source: VentureBeat

Jared DiPane

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.

155 Comments
  • it might be a side project... but while releasing in app stores they use Microsoft's official account and logo so that makes it official IMO.  The point I'm trying to make here is ... people who are working in MSFT are also not encouraged enough to write for their own platform. Tell me a single app that apple or google made for other platforms and not for their own? there is a serious problem which microsoft needs to address... why developers aren't encouraged ?
  • Even MS is more interested in making app for Android and iPhone. What can we expect from other Developers. Its not going to change
  • The new Google Hangouts app went to iOS before Android. I haven't checked, but I still don't believe Google released the new Hangouts app yet.
    Actually, there are plenty of times where Google released something for iOS before Android. Apple doesn't do it at all because they make money on hardware. Google is like Microsoft in that they want as many people using their services as possible.
  • jas ... there is always been an app for android ... they might have released a new one before ... but microsoft sometimes doesnt even bother making one ... it took them ages to make good skype software ... same with other apps
  • Yes, there is/was an app, but they revamped the one for iOS and said that the Android version is "coming soon" (doesn't that sound familiar? Lol)
    Same with a major YouTube update a couple of years ago.
    I'm not disagreeing that Microsoft (I believe rightfully so) frequently prioritizes other platforms over their own, but you asked for "a single app that Apple or Google made for other platforms before their own"
  • Honestly I used to be mad about that but apple's built in services aren't in par with what google and Microsoft offers to even put in other platforms other than iTunes
  • looks like oversmart admins of WC deleted the original thread therefore my post is showing up on top
  • I was wondering how that happened lol
  • That is pretty funny....Hahahaha. Was wondering as the whole thread felt out context lol.
  • The new iTunes was released first for Windows, then for Mac,a month later. Many such examples are there.
  • And windows mobile?  
  • It doesnt exists
  • @ Vikas_Kr. Maybe you should go back under your rock bridge :P. The official name for phones is Windows 10 Mobile plus there are insane amount of phones still running Windows Mobile 6.x (mostly used by enterprise).
  • "Insane amount" is really pushing it. Windows Mobile 6.x has lower market share than BlackBerry.
  • Is any company taking advantage of Universal apps yet? This close to launch and I've heard next to nothing. Kinds worrisome. Either it's not going to work like MS hoped or companies just aren't interested yet.
  • Universal apps?.. It depends.. But trust me they are making every app compatible with W10 for sure.. It's all about millions of users and money... they can't stop themselves...
  • If they aren't making them Universal apps, then its a huge let down. That was part of the selling point. If companies STILL aren't interested in making them, we are going to have a big problem.
  • If 'we' is referring to W10M users.. Then yeah..agreed... But it's not a big deal for PC users.. They will definitely get all the apps they want.. Universal Apps are helpful to WM than PC
  • Relax. It's too early to declare failure of Microsoft's universal apps plan. Both the OSs are in its beta state. Developers may not necessarily want to test their apps on a platform that's itself being tested.
  • Stick a fork in UWP. It's as good as dead after Nadella raised the white flag on Windows Phone last week.
  • I doubt that
  • Still not as bad as what hp did to webOS...
  • @mdram.
    Ain't that the truth.
  • +925
  • He fired all those Nokians who couldn't release a flagship, and who kept releasing junk phones. The 635 was released with 512MB RAM after the 525 had a GB. WTF? Fire them all.
  • I wonder how many people with Windows 8 on their computer use websites vs apps. Eg. Facebook.
  • W8 was a failure.. Don't bring that here.. It's time to think new.. W10 is almost here.. We will see new WUA after RTM release .. ( it will take time.. May be months )
  • Developers had millions of Insiders to test their universal apps over the past number of months, especially this past month with multiple builds, and NONE have been released. Makes little sense to wait for Windows 10 to release then put out your apps when you can get exposure now. I'm making a bold guess that there is little interest and especially since Windows 10 lacks tablet features. It won't be as successful as Microsoft hopes.
  • As far as I know the new store hasn't even been opened for universal app submission yet? Which would of course explain the lack of new apps.
  • You're correct. Only first-party W10 apps can be on the store so far.
  • I was excited to get a Lumia 640 soon...but since I don't know what will happen to Windows store for phone once w10 comes out...I will just stick to my L620 and see what happens...
  • Lacks tablet features? I've just installed build 10166 on my 8 inch tablet, and I simply love windows 10 on my tablet! The ui is much better and functional now! I would risk to say that I'm enjoying more windows 10 on my tablet than on my PC...
  • The SDK was not released, heck, isn't released to its full yet. I work for a software company. We are planning on releasing a UWP app, but we need the SDK to be completed.
  • What company and what are you releasing :) would love to get it to test when it's out! As long as I'm the market customer haha.
  • W8 somewhat failed because people are dumb and because Microsoft didn't advertise it as the great succesor to W7 that it rightfully is.
  • @2uiam Hardly anyone would use the apps, I guess. If Windows 8 Store is still alive, thank to tablets and laptop convertibles. I also suspect the Start screen in Windows 8.x might had played a reason behind peoples' ignorance to Windows apps on their non-touch devices, because they find themselves working on Desktop all the time, or most of the time. But with Windows 10 coming, the apps have got a room to be mentioned in the new start screen which is hard to miss. Hence worth more importance.
  • I hope you are right.
  • I know assloads of pc users running 8.1(lanparty's), including myself, and none of them use "Windows Apps." I think many developers know this too, which is a problem. If Windows apps aren't popular(they're not), and there's also a low number of Windows Phone users, developers aren't going to bother making universal apps.  It gets said here a lot, "what developer would ignore a billion Windows users?" But that's not an honest way of looking at it. 95% of those "billion" users will be on pc, and pc users don't really use Windows apps. I'm sure everyone here will say that they use Windows apps on their pc everyday, but people generally don't, unless they're on a tablet like a Surface or something.
  • I use the app. No ads (and no bizarre layout because of Adblock), and the interface is better.
  • Agreed..
  • True that, I really hope it will give Windows 10 Mobile all the apps it needs, and ofcourse Windows 10 Desktop, wouldn't it be awesome to have, for instance, Instagram, Snapchat, and many other apps on Windows 10 Desktop? And Mobile? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android with my Note 4.
  • Listen to this guy he's as smart as WM10
  • I am a developer and I don't know anybody who uses "Windows Store Apps". Not even my dad and other non-IT people. On a computer we all use websites.  Reasons:
    - no client updates needed. Just hit the refresh button and done.
    - platform independent
    - often more functionality (like drag and drop etc)
    - most browsers have there own notification and action center system by now
    - you can pin tabs or pin sites to the taskbar so they look and act like apps
    - if you throw in extensions you can even get more functionality like working media player controls on your keyboard
    - the developer can use whatever language and web technology they want to write their site
    - websites have responsive design for tablet, mobile and PC
    - sites are dynamtic thanks to the ever evolving HTML specification which are developed with several companies instead of one.
    - opening an app on PC disrupts your workflow more than opening a tab in an already running browser
    - win32 apps still have jump lists, universal apps don't
    - ... I can't see desktop users switching to Windows 10 universal apps for the time being. Most people already have on PC what those apps bring to the table and you already have seen with windows 8 how people react act a change in their workflow. Also if you test the apps and compare them with their win32 equivalents half the functionality is missing. The Gmail and Outlook site have way more functionality than the apps. Groove Music vs iTunes/Spotify is no competition. Steam has sharing, gaming, store, .... Chrome is already a whole integrated platform on its own... No I really don't see anything change in the coming months... People will keep on working like they already did on PC in Windows 7 and 8; living in their browsers.
  • What rubbish! The number of people you know isn't indicative of anything - and I doubt you've asked every one of them if they use apps. Of course people buy apps from the Windows Store - I've bought dozens myself, and I use hundreds of free ones too. Perhaps you live in your browser, and I certainly do a lot too, but it's very common for people to do things in software & apps. Whether that's traditional win32 stuff, or store apps, it doesn't matter. Software provides an added level of responsiveness and functionality that is often difficult to replicate as effectively in a browser. I am a software and web developer so I often have to pick which to use on a case-by-case basis. I regularly use loads of apps, such as Flipboard, MSN News, Fitbit, OneNote, WPCentral etc. Based on the comments people also use Facebook and Twitter apps. Flipboard is a great example - I love using it on my SP3 as it's it's buttery smooth, super easy to read articles and flip through pages. However, I find the website a lot less enjoyable to use. MSN News is nice as it's a news aggregator and means I don't have to visit 10 different websites. When I'm travelling (using my phone directly or tethered) then you can't beat an app to minimise data usage, as it just loads the new content and not everything on the page each time. Then there's games... sure I have hundreds of Steam games, but I also have hundreds of games from the store too.
  • Twitter, Wechat, Line, etc..
    Source - MS Build 2015 keynote.
  • Maybe they'll offer a sideloadable instead? Not that it matters to me as ive never had a positive experience with ff
  • I think its because last year universal apps were not yet as universal as this year plus w10 apps won't be accepted until the 20th, so devs are holding on to their apps
  • Glad to see them on board!
  • +925
  • Is it a Universal app???
  • Thats my question too... if its already in the firefox version now does that mean it will not be a universal app?  If so that really is what we have today, a few minor tweaks does not get me excited about using firefox again like a universal app would (that could be on all of my my phone as well as desktop)
  • Im pretty sure its a standalone x86,x64 app
  • Then what the hell is the point this isn't a "Windows 10 app"
  • Agreed. Wasn't it supposed to be easy to make Universal apps? Do these companies just have zero interest or is it more involved than MS let on?
  • They don't want to run their apps on tablets, phones, Xbox, surface hub, and hololense .. As simple as that
  • It's easy to make an "applet" in UWP but they're always limited in functionality (due to the underlying WinRT10 API and framework). The overwhelming majority of Win10 users will run good ol' Win32 programs like they always have and Win32 ISVs will continue to ignore the WinRT API because it doesn't work with the vast majority of existing Windows users -> those running Win7. Not to mention that my Win32 reseller only takes around 6% of sales while MSFT's Windows Store takes a whopping 30%. Universal Apps, aka WinRT10, will be as DOA as WinRT80/WinRT81/WinPRT80/WinPRT81. Why MSFT continues to whip that dead horse is beyond me ... and it will eventually kill the company.
  • I'm not a pro , didn't understand any of it..sorry :/
  • Win32 apps are also much more prone to pirating and are a pain to purchase compared to the store.
  • @TicomFreak -- Win32 programs are much more prone to actually being purchased by users. WinRT apps are not.
  • Ooohh!! I'm sorry that's wrong. Get the next one wrong and the Johnsons will have a chance to steal.
  • I think universal apps share about 95+% of the code base. Which means less than 5% will have to re-written to tailor for different devices. I would think that most developers that make a Windows 10 app will probably make it universal unless the app has obvious specific use on phone or desktop. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You said it. Universal apps. Firefox is most probably not universal.
  • Imagine WhatsApp as universal app..lol..
  • Hahahaha
  • APP sucks my ass
  • @JamesPeterJackson. Grow up.
  • I'm sticking with Edge, although I'm glad Firefox is doing what others like Google won't and adjusting out to conform to windows 10 guidelines.
  • But it's just a x32 program right? Not an app? Would love if they made it a Windows App.
  • They should make a Windows App, only way I'd use their browser on my windows 10 powered devices.
  • If it isnt a Universal App, then, no, i prefer continue using Edge.
  • +640
  • +525
  • Looks googleish..and it's not an universal app which is downside.
  • Is it a windows 10 app ? Like a true universal one ?
  • No
  • ^source?
  • Seriously. I've now seen multiple claims of this talking like it's fact, but not one source. The current browser will work just fine as is on Windows 10, so it may be that this special effort is in part to make it a universal app.
  • Hope They're making a universal app!!
  • Hope it is compatible with mobile too.
  • Hope They're "NOT" making a universal app !!!
       
  • Keeping your input and peoples' views in consideration, all I can ask you is WHY  ???
  • Why?
  • Because he's anti-Microsoft
  • Hope they made it available in the store,
  • If its just a x86 app then its NOT a "Windows 10 app". Pointless.
  • Exactly. Don't see the news in this or whatever the hell should be different in ff 40. Downloading now to see why they dare to call it a win 10 app
  • It could be that the app takes advantage of features available in Windows 10 such as Cortana. For Windows 10 doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a Universal App. Besides, writing a truly universal rendering engine with what's available would be very difficult.
  • Since Edge has yet to displace it on my Windows 10 desktop, lets see what Firefox version 40 brings to the table. It as least has paste and go, paste and search like most other modern browsers.
  • Which "most modern browsers" are you talking about?
  • Chrome, Opera, Safari, Maxthon, etc.
  • @kabo Firefox, Chrome, IE etc. Which modern browsers do you use?
  • I don't see any of them modern, other than IE :P
  • LOL! Thanks for the laugh! :D
  • Ewww! Compared to Edge design Firefox design is shitty. Hope there would be flat theme by the time they release it.
  • Uhm Edge has no design at all. It is the bare minimum. You see a page, tabs and some buttons that are basically black lines. At least Firefox actually HAS a design in the first place. Not like I hate Edge, but there is not exactly a design on it.
  • I'm more interested in the engine that runs under every browsers.. So I say F#&k design and make it easy to use and provide fast browsing.. And Edge can take that position
  • Uhm how much design does a browser really need? The whole point of a browser is that it's a window to view webpages. Who really cares if one browser looks better than another as long as they render the webpage the same??
  • You obviously don't know what design is if you think that adding unnecessary flourish and visual elements makes it more "designed." Edge is a far better design because of its minimalism and cleanliness. It lets your eye focus on the content (the website) and less on gimmick gradients, etc. of the browser.
  • Well said spaulagain, design is about useability not fancy touches or redundant visual elements. I just wish people would stop blabbering about things they have no clue about it.
  • Edge looks amazing in dark theme. Best looking browser of them all.
  • Agrees. Just switched to the dark theme yesterday and its beautiful as fck!
  • I think Molliza is an non-profit organization, not a company...
  • Same thing
  • You would both be wrong. Mozilla is actually composed of two entities, the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation. The Mozilla Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity, that owns the for-profit Mozilla Corporation which actually makes revenue to support the foundation and pay employees - a majority of this revenue is derived from search engine partnerships (which is why Firefox switched from defaulting to Yahoo from Google recently), an activity that a non-profit could not engage in. As a whole, the Mozilla Foundation owns the Mozilla Corporation, so everything is still very much motivated by the non-profit goals, but Mozilla does in fact make a profit, even if just to shut it back to the non-profit parent :)
  • Wait... So why is Firefox 40 made for Windows 10 then? As far as I know 39 runs on Windows 10 the exact same way, doesn't it? I was expecting a Universal app and instead this is now no news at all...literally
  • You read my mind...
  • Cortana and notification center integration?
  • Would like to see a universal app version.
  • Okay so I just downloaded Firefox 40 beta and I can say that there is literally NOTHING different from previous versions! It's just a new version of Firefox like any other release! I don't see why this was made into an article? It's like saying GUYS SAFARI GOT A COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT UPDATE BUT IT SAYS SUPPORT FOR WINDOWS 10!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!.. just...no. I appreciate a wide variety of articles on this website and I never said it before, but seriously Windows Central... Don't make articles out if this if there is literally no news to tell in the frigging article!
  • Maybe you should read the title, slowly... It says "design guidelines" no where does it says anything about an update.
  • It does. Firefox 40 supposedly adds support for Windows 10. Trust me, I know plenty about development to tell they did not do a thing to the browser (except for adding a file format support perhaps), so the whole 'ff 40 has win 10 support' is pure bullshit.
  • Universal apps are based on WinRT API. The functions of WinRT API is limited compared to Win32 API. It's difficult to make a complicated app like a browser and to covert Win32 app to Universal app. That's the reason that MS made Edge. Windows tablets and phones market are small.   I think Edge will be the only browser works on tablets and phones.
  • Unless they somehow decided to port browsers from android or ios to w10 mobile...
  • Except that MS has informed that all their apps are built using the exact same tools 3rd party developers will have access to, including Edge.
  • +929
    Microsoft realized that developers where having a bad time when developing using WinRT instead of Win32, so they risk to share it all their tools so 3rd party developers can do it all as Microsoft themselves, this is because they don't want heard complaints and excuses from developers not supporting their platform.
  • To be clear, FF40 for Windows 10 brings only a new design that is in line with Windows 10's design language. No Universal App.
  • Design is 100% identical to ff 39. In fact, the whole thing is identical (aka new build, no changes)
  • Mozilla and the "Edge" fear.
  • Is it a modern app?
  • Nope, just the same Firefox with an updated design.
  • No, that's not what the article states.
  • Firefox is a part of the past...
  • I guess no one told me about it. I'm on FF 41, and it works for me. In fact, it's better for me now than Edge, which does not provide a means for storing icons without text in the favourites bar. Or... am I like WIly Coyote? I've walked off the cliff but haven't fallen because I haven't looked down? ;-)
  • Any word for Windows 10 Mobile? Not that i use Firefox but great for the Windows Store. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android with my Note 4.
  • That 'reduced UI footprint' bit could be a direct jab at Edge. The waste of vertical screen real estate in Edge makes me batty. Wasted space seems to be creeping into W10 design all over the place. The compact aesthetic was one of the biggest draws for me to windows mobile in the first place.
  • I think that people 40+ will appreciate this sizing, at least in Edge. Though they won't be as loud in speaking that as those under 40 that complain :).
  • This^
    I've noticed I strain my eyes much less when using Edge compared to FF and IE. It's so comfortable for me to use and I'm nowhere close to 40!
  • I'm 17 and Edge is the best looking and easiest browser to use on my PC.
  • I'd be perfectly happy for large print option then ;)
  • It looks the same, but I can only be like ewww about it
  • God that's ugly, Chrome and Edge it is.
  • Apparently you did miss one :P
  • Mobile version please
  • Mobile? Universal? That would be great :)  
  • why is this even news, are they making a Store / Universal app? NO. this is normal win32/X64 app
  • They know their audience better than you do.
  • FireChrome :( Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Opera will make UW10 app right?
  • Yes they said they are planning to make a Universal Windows App of Opera Mobile for Windows 10.
  • if they make the darn thing more touch friendly for tablets, I'll let them slide on it not being a universal app.
     
  • In 2015, why does any web browser still have separate fields for Address and Search?
  • Search bar is specially used to switch between different search providers quickly Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Seemed pretty obvious both Mozilla and Opera would knock out a W10 version, they can't ignore it with so many upgrades occurring. Albeit Mozilla are combatting Edge whereas Opera are just making sure they can call anti-competitive when non-use of Opera becomes predictably apparent.
  • So it IS a universal app and will be in the Windows Store and for phones?
  • Nope, a desktop app
  • So is this a desktop program or a universal app Xbox and Mobile can use?
  • A desktop program
  • First class experience?
    The last update is anything but, Firefox now takes 2 gigs of ram just to ran a single tab.... What a massive memory leak. With 4 gigs of ram.... It's impossible to run multiple tabs as it spikes to 3.5 gigs never have I had that problem before even streaming 10 windows weekly (I was looking for something said by either PT or MJF) episodes in separate tabs (it hardly spiked to 2 gigs). So I hope the WX has no memory leaks whatsoever, only then you would get a first class experience - performance wise.
  • If so you should reinstall FF. Mine uses 226 mb with two tabs open and 11 addons.
  • Is it universal app
  • Nope, it's an updated Win32 program.
  • I don't get why people are expecting Universal App.. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Will it come to windows 10 mobile
  • Hopefully they embrace a fully universal app. Count me in to test it.
  • If you want that look just install Stylish then find the css on deviantart and install Classic Theme Restorer add-on and you're done.