- IT Blogwatch: Mozilla Firefox 3.6: download now! Performance, personas and addons...
- Preston Gralla: Installing Firefox 3.6: One more reason Linux isn't ready for the prime-time mass market
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Make the right browser update: Firefox 3.6
Mozilla launches Firefox 3.6, calls it 'world's best browser'
'Users will feel the speed,' says Mozilla exec
Computerworld - Mozilla today released Firefox 3.6, the first upgrade to the open-source browser since last June.
Firefox 3.6 was posted to Mozilla's download servers early Thursday, just over five months after the browser first entered public testing with an alpha release. The upgrade shifted to beta in early November 2009, then wrapped up with a pair of release candidates (RC).
RC2, which reached testers last weekend, was sufficiently bug-free that Mozilla renamed that build as the final it shipped today.
The new browser includes built-in support for the scaled-down browser skins dubbed "Personas;" adds support for new CSS, DOM and HTML 5 technologies, as well as for full-screen video and the open-source Web Open Font Format (WOFF).
Firefox 3.6 also boasts a new security feature that checks browser plug-ins, such as Adobe's Flash Player or Apple's QuickTime, to make sure they're up-to-date, then blocks vulnerable plug-ins from loading and shows users how to update the software. Mozilla added some plug-in checking to older editions starting last September, but fleshed it out in Firefox 3.6.
We did a lot of work with Web developers and with our own code," said Beltzner, "so users will feel the speed."
Mozilla is touting the update with the line, "World's best browser" on its site, an assertion that's likely to raise hackles from the competition. "I believe it's true," said Beltzner, defending the claim. "Firefox lets users take control of their experience, it's the most customizable browser around, and it's an incredibly fast browser. So, from the overall experience [perspective], we think Firefox has the best complete package."
Firefox 3.6 landed about two months later than initial estimates -- last fall, Mozilla said it was shooting for a November delivery of the final -- but the delay was much shorter than the half year the company had to add to the development schedule of Firefox 3.5.
Mozilla has made other changes to its post-3.6 plans. At one time, today's release was to be the first of two minor updates that Mozilla would deliver over a six-month stretch, part of a plan to speed up development and stay feature-competitive with hard-charging rivals such as Google's Chrome. Recently, however, Mozilla has decided to drop the second of those minor updates and instead roll selected features into Firefox 3.6 as part of the year's security updates. Meanwhile, the next major update will go through the standard public testing cycle, and should ship in late 2010 or early 2011.
The appearance of Firefox 3.6 also starts the end-of-life clock ticking for Firefox 3.5; Mozilla's policy is to support an older edition for approximately six months after the launch of a successor, meaning the kill date for 3.5 will likely be in late July 2010. At or around that time, Mozilla will stop producing security patches for the older browser.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed .
- IE6: Retired but not dead yet
- Chrome users won't give up, keep pressing Google to restore old-style new tab page
- Google quashes 31 vulnerabilities, restores Metro mode 'steppers' with Chrome 34
- Firefox's UI face-lift on track for April debut
- Ex-Mozilla engineer blames Microsoft's rules for Metro Firefox's death
- Mozilla patches 20 Firefox flaws, plugs Pwn2Own holes
- Google reverses field, promises to restore Chrome's scrollbar arrows
- Update: Google ships Chrome 33, patches 28 bugs
- Mozilla's top exec defends in-Firefox ads, revenue search
- Mozilla taps in-Firefox ads as it searches for more revenue
Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.
- Six Ways Your Small Business Can Save with Internet Phone Service Traditional phone systems present two main problems for businesses: limited features and high costs. As a result, small businesses are migrating to Internet...
- Face Time Anytime Real-time communications facilitates team collaboration from nearly anywhere in the world. With facts and figures you can use to justify an investment
- Now is the time to implement a video conference solution Video conferencing is getting a lot of buzz lately due to the recent cost decrease, making it tangible for many law firms. It's...
- Video drives engagement Achieving maximum results means building a solid platform and network infrastructure. As digital age unfolds, it's clear that the ability to communicate effectively...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Web Apps White Papers | Webcasts