This is it; the final Beta version of Firefox 4 has been released to public.
Although you might expect only bug fixes (nearly 700 of them), Mozilla has also managed to improve the performance when viewing Flash content, plugin compatibility when hardware acceleration is enabled as well as performance, stability and compatibility.
Furthermore, according to the changelog, when hovering link, the URL will now be displayed at the bottom of the window instead of the location bar.
Thanks, Jeff, RamaSubbu SK, Shane Bundy!
With the upcoming desktop browser release, Mozilla Foundation also plans to ship the Final version of Firefox 4 for Android in few weeks.
Furthermore, during an interview at the Mobile World Congress, Mozilla’s vice president of products, Jay Sullivan said that there will be about 150 mobile add-ons available during the launch.
Nokia N900 users shouldn’t be worried too as Firefox 4 Mobile will be available for devices running Maemo operating system as well.
Jay Sullivan has also commented on much anticipated Firefox 5 build, which according to him:
Will be a much quicker release cycle but it will have fewer features, but it will be more agile and more reactive to the issues that are facing the market.
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Don’t forget that you can receive points for asking/answering questions and redeem them for cool prizes.
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Even though the Final version of Firefox 4 has not yet been released, Mozilla team is already working on a new UI functionality for the upcoming Firefox 5 (targeted this year) browser.
One of the few new features is tab coloring by favicon (which for some users might be a headache (if can’t be disabled)).
It looks like the development of Firefox 4 is doing well as Mozilla now plans to release the RC build of an open-source web browser later next week on February 25th.
However, don’t forget Beta 12 which should be landing shortly.
As for the Final version, it is targeted for the March release.
Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of security risk and compliance management provider Qualys, revealed that approximately 80% of web browsers are susceptible to exploits of bugs that have already been patched. Kandek attributed this mostly to Windows, saying “All the different patching mechanisms are confusing, a bit of this and some of that.”
As discovered by BrowserCheck (which scans Windows, Mac and Linux machines for vulnerable browsers along with browser plug-ins), Oracle’s Java was the most probable plug-in to be outdated for the second year in a row, comprising a total of 40% scanned systems. Adobe’s Reader and Apple’s QuickTime were second and third, taking up 32% and 25% respectively.
Proposed solutions include:
- Microsoft taking charge of patching crucial third party plug-ins via single updater.
- Moving to HTML5, so browsers would no longer require various audio and video processing plug-ins.
Mike Beltzner, Mozilla’s Director if Firefox will be leaving company right after Firefox 4 Final release.
For around six years (sine Firefox 1.5), he has been leading development of the open-source browser and assures everyone that this wasn’t really an easy decision to make.
It’s not a choice I made lightly, I can assure you. I’m incredibly eager to see how Mozilla continues to evolve, shifting its strategy to the new world in which the Web is not just alive and thriving, but evolving and transforming daily
As for the future, Mike is planning to join Dug as product strategist.
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