Now it's turning to a surprising source for
inspiration -- Microsoft. Mozilla wrote in their developers
wiki, "Starting with Vista, and continuing with Windows 7,
the menubar has been systematically removed from Windows applications
built by Microsoft and other vendors. It has been replaced with
alternatives like the Windows Explorer contextual strip or the Ribbon
found in Office 2007. The Ribbon UI is now also used in Paint and
Wordpad for Windows 7."
Mozilla is not adopting a ribbon, but will be adopting a similar approach in cleaning up its menu bar. It says that the perks of
the change will be giving the browser window more space, something
nice for netbooks. it will also bring the Windows Aero Glass
effect, currently only in the frame, to the entire controls
Currently Firefox just isn't shiny enough says
Mozilla. Writes the company in its development notes, "Firefox
feels dated and behind on Windows. Issues include the absence of
Glass, anemic purple toolbar color on Vista, tall and bulky UI
footprint, element overload, inconsistent toolbar icon usage/style,
lack of a tactile look and feel and perhaps too great of a divergence
between the look on XP and Vista/7."
Under the current
plan, the new look will be rolled out with Firefox
3.7 set to air in March 2010. Users will be able to switch
between the new and old look by clicking the "ALT" key
inside the Firefox frame.
Mozilla is still open to
suggestions, though, and the change isn't set in stone. Writes
Mozilla, "This direction is at the team proposal stage, to be
approved by drivers and subject for constructive community feedback."