Early Glimpse of Firefox 8 Shows Vast Performance Increases
Mozilla has faced some backlash from IT administrators for its move to a rapid release cycle with the Firefox browser, but you have to hand it to Mozilla for staying the course. For years, Firefox saw upgrades arrive far less frequently than they arrove for competitive browsers such as Google Chrome. Since announcing its new rapid release cycle earlier this year, Mozilla has released versions 4 and 5 of Firefox, and steadily gotten better at ironing out short-term kinks, most of which have had to do with extensions causing problems. Now, Firefox 8 is already being seen in nightly builds, although it's not released in final form yet, and early reports show it to be faster than current versions of Chrome across many benchmarks.
Firefox 7 and 8 run a new graphics engine called Azure, which you can read more about here. And, in broad benchmark tests, ExtremeTech reports the following results:
Mozilla has already done extensive work on how memory is handled in Firefox 7, and these issues are likely to be addressed further with release 8. At this point, Chrome is Firefox's biggest competition, and ExtremeTech also reports:
I use Firefox and Chrome, but my primary reason for using Chrome is that it has been faster. With the early glimpse of Firefox 8, the performance gap stands a chance of being closed, and it looks like these two open source browsers have never competed more closely than they do now.