With the release of Firefox 4 Beta 7, Mozilla returned to near the top spot in browser performance rankings.
On Wednesday, Mozilla launched Firefox 4 Beta 7, a preview that includes all the features slated to make it into the final, polished version next year.
Three of the five major browsers were closely bunched at the top. Opera Software's Opera 11 Alpha, which the Norwegian company released last month, barely edged Firefox 4 Beta 7, which in turn narrowly beat the beta of Google's Chrome 8.
Meanwhile, results for Apple's Safari and Microsoft's beta of Internet Explorer 9 put that pair significantly behind the top three. For example, Firefox 4 Beta 7 was approximately 25% faster than IE9 Beta in the trials.
In two of the three tests, Firefox 4 Beta 7 proved three times faster than Firefox 3.6.12, the current production build. (Mozilla said V8's results showed Firefox 4 was five times faster than 3.6.12.)