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Mozilla Marketplace opens for testing

Mozilla Marketplace opens for testing

The Mozilla Marketplace is available for testing, but you'll need to install Firefox Nightly before you can get started.

Mozilla, the non-profit organisation behind the popular open-source Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client, has gone live with an early version of Mozilla Marketplace, a one-stop shop for web apps.

If the concept of Mozilla Marketplace, a site where popular web apps can be purchased and installed, seems familiar, you're probably a Chrome user: Google's own browser has a similar feature in the form of the Chrome Web Store , which holds both web apps and extensions for the Chrome browser and Chrome OS operating system.

Mozilla's Marketplace goes a little further than Google's Chrome Web Store, however: where apps installed into Chrome appear as shortcuts only in the 'speed dial' screen in the browser, those installed via the Mozilla Marketplace are inserted into the operating system's application menu and desktop as quick-access shortcuts. As a result, it's possible to load a web app quickly even if the browser isn't currently open.

For Windows users, that means web apps are directly available from the Start Menu - and can even be uninstalled from the system using the standard tools in the Windows Control Panel. Apps also open in a standalone browser window, lacking much of the user interface chrome of standard Firefox in order to make them feel more like native applications.

There are, however, a few caveats to Mozilla's experiment. Firstly, it relies on functionality which is not yet present in the mainstream releases of Firefox; those who want to try the service out will need the Nightly build of Firefox 16. The service is also somewhat limited, with just 200 applications available at present - many of which are free, with a small number available for a nominal fee.

If you're willing to install a pre-alpha version of Firefox onto your system - with Windows, OS X and Linux all fully supported - to give the service a go, the service is now live. You'll need a BrowserID account to sign up, but the site will walk you through the process if you haven't already got one.

6 Comments

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MrJay 12th June 2012, 15:05 Quote
Can only be a good thing right?
l3v1ck 12th June 2012, 17:09 Quote
Meh.... I've used Mozilla products for years (even before Firefox), but I just can't get excited about this.
RichCreedy 12th June 2012, 23:36 Quote
and what happens when windows 8 comes out?
IvanIvanovich 13th June 2012, 02:41 Quote
I suppose it will be a big success like the Prism initiative...
impar 13th June 2012, 10:26 Quote
Greetings!

Seeing as hybrid browsers get installed in Metro it will be interesting to see what "web apps" will appear in this Marketplace and what will bypass Windows 8 store.
dr-strangelove 14th June 2012, 19:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
and what happens when windows 8 comes out?

No one buys it and it goes the way of Vista?
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