Mozilla's San Francisco office

Firefox available on Microsoft Store for first time

Gecko-based browser arrives after Microsoft removes restrictions
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Mozilla's San Francisco office. Image: IDGNS

10 November 2021

The Mozilla Foundation has announced that its open source Firefox browser is finally available in the Microsoft Store.

This marks a first for Mozilla. Until recently, it was unable to list its browser on the store because Microsoft required all browsers to use the browser engine it built into its platform, which meant Mozilla’s Gecko didn’t qualify. Microsoft lifted those restrictions in June.

“Previously, if you were on Windows and wanted to use Firefox, you had to download it from the internet and go through a clunky process from Microsoft,” said Mozilla. “Now that Microsoft has changed its Store policies, choosing Firefox as your desktop browser is even more seamless.”

 

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The Foundation touted Firefox features including its anti-tracking and anti-cookie technologies, along with DNS over HTTPS, which stops network snoopers from discovering Firefox users’ browsing habits.

Microsoft rebooted its online store for Windows 11 last month. It comes with some significant upgrades, including the ability for app developers with their own commerce models to keep all of their app revenue. Game developers pay a cut, but it’s only 12% of the revenue (far less than Apple and Google take). It also allowed companies to publish other storefront apps in its store.

The company launched the store for Windows 11 in early October, announcing it would be available for Windows 10 users in the coming months.

Mozilla said it was the first major browser to be available on the Windows Store. Microsoft has also welcomed Opera and the Yandex browser into the web store.

Firefox is one of the few mainstream browsers left using an engine that isn’t Chromium-based. Microsoft switched its Edge browser to Chromium in 2019. Apple’s Safari, which uses its WebKit engine, is the other holdout.

Google’s Chrome holds 64.7% of the browser market according to Statcounter, while Safari has a 19% share. Firefox lags in fourth place, with a 3.7% share, behind Edge with 4%.

© Dennis Publishing


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