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With Firefox 3.7, Mozilla is making its browser shinier, and is switching its frame top to a fancier Aero-ized design (see the glass look and lack of File/Edit/etc... in the pic below). It cites Office 2007 and Windows Explorer (Vista) as examples of what it considers optimal interfaces.  (Source: Firefox Developers Wiki)
For better or worse, Firefox is getting Officized

Mozilla's Firefox is the world's second most popular browser behind Internet Explorer.  Mozilla is constantly looking to refine its user interface, engine, and features.

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 strip.

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."





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