Mozilla Firefox for Windows 8 finally moves into open beta

Mozilla has today unveiled that its Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta is available for download and testing. The touch-friendly version of the popular web browser has been in development for some time, but finally we're beginning to see the app take shape. 

Should you be currently using a Windows 8 tablet or laptop with touch-screen support, we urge you to check out the Firefox beta and see what you think.

When launching the browser, you're greeted by a tile-inspired start screen with one-top access to your top visited websites, bookmarks and history. Some friendly hints are thrown in to get you familiarised with how everything is laid out. If you're used to the "Awesome Bar," you can also continue using this feature over the new additions.

The Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta comes with support for both touch and swipe gestures, including pinch to zoom and swipe transitions. The team have also attempted to add some minor UI elements and functionality to make general browsing easier.

Here are some more highlighted features packed into this small package:

Full, Snapped and Fill views – snap Firefox to the side of your screen or opt for the full experience.

Visual Navigation –​ reorganise the start screen to how you wish to be greeted each time you fire up Firefox. The tiles utilised also help make browsing more convenient from the get go.

Windows Share integration – share a Web page or a piece of content from any web page to any of connected social network.

The Firefox team have so far done a superb job bringing the popular web browser to Windows 8, implementing touch support while retaining ease-of-use for mice and keyboard users. 

Ready to get started and download the beta? Head on over to the Mozilla website for more details and download links. Be sure to leave feedback and whatnot when beta testing to further support development prior to its gold release.

Source: Mozilla; thanks, David, for the tip!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.