Firefox, the number one contender of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer released its first official Beta Version last Tuesday. Wired tested the Beta release of Firefox 3 and commented that it is not without bugs which is true for any beta release. In contrast to the latter Firefox 3 beta 1 is noticeably snappier. Page loads are quicker, and an almost unnoticeable refresh rate for Ajax-heavy sites like Gmail. The speed upgrade may not instantly persuade non-users to make a switch, but the new version does not come without a few new features which are listed below.
- Improved security features such as: better presentation of website identity and security, malware protection, stricter SSL error pages, anti-virus integration in the download manager, and version checking for insecure plugins.
- Improved ease of use through: better password management, easier add-on installation, new download manager with resumable downloading, full page zoom, animated tab strip, and better integration with Windows Vista and Mac OS X.
- Richer personalization through: one-click bookmarking, smart search bookmark folders, direct typing in location bar searches your history and bookmarks for URLs and page titles, ability to register web applications as protocol handlers, and better customization of download actions for file types.
- Improved platform features such as: new graphics and font rendering architecture, major changes to the HTML rendering engine to provide better CSS, float-, and table layout support, native web page form controls, colour profile management, and offline application support.
- Performance improvements such as: better data reliability for user profiles, architectural improvements to speed up page rendering, over 300 memory leak fixes, and a new XPCOM cycle collector to reduce entire classes of leaks.
Firefox: “We do not recommend that anyone other than developers and testers download the Firefox 3 Beta 1 milestone release. It is intended for testing purposes only. “
If you want to check out the Firefox 3 Beta Version, you can download it here.