Tuesday, November 20, 2007

FireFox 3 Beta 1 now available

That's right, the next version of the venerable challenger to Internet Explorer is just around corner. Mozilla yesterday announced the availability of the first beta for FireFox 3. For those of you who haven't been following FF3's progress, here are a few release highlights:

  • New download manager with integrated anti-virus and resume capabilities
  • Full page zoom (a la IE7)
  • One-click bookmarking and a host of new tools for managing bookmarks and history
  • New graphics and font rendering architecture
  • Improved HTML rendering engine
  • Tons of performance improvements and fixed memory leaks
  • Easier add-on installation
You can review a complete list of what's new on the Mozilla site. After downloading and installing FF3 (which you can do parallel to existing versions as long as you use a different folder), I must say it definitely feels more like an incremental improvement than some big leap forward in the browser wars. The overall interaction with the browser remains relatively unchanged and in the current beta the skin has not changed at all from FF2. Most improvements in FF3 will take time to appreciate, but then again, other than terrible memory performance and slower page loading, I have few complaints with FF2.

Download your copy
of FF3 beta 1 today and give it a try. Is this what you expected from FF3 or does it feel more like FF2.5 to you, too? I'm not sure what more (or maybe less) I want my web browser to do in the future, but maybe you have better ideas. Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think of FF3 and how you would change it to be the perfect "next gen" browser.