Firefox 4 Beta Is Fast, But Not The Only Browser In Town

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 07, 2010

Mozilla is out with the first beta release of the Firefox 4 browser, an important release given growing competition from Google Chrome. The new version of Firefox is based on the Gecko 2.0 web platform, and there is even a Feedback extension so that you can quickly fire your comments off to Mozilla. You can test extensions with the new version, but you need to install the Add-on Compatibility Reporter extension first in order to do so.

The new release of Firefox has much to offer. Here are some of the details on what's under the hood.

It's worth keeping in mind that the latest release from Mozilla is only the first beta of Firefox version 4, and is intended primarily for testing purposes. Mozilla has made release notes available here.

One of the biggest features in Firefox 4 is complete support for HTML 5. Mozilla is positioning it as the key to a future for open web video and multimedia standards, even as Apple and others favor proprietary standards. Firefox 4 also supports the new WebM video standard.

The first thing you'll notice if you take the new browser for a spin is increased performance for many kinds of tasks. The user interface is snappier, there are CSS improvements, and Javascript runs faster, which is key for running web applications. Developers should also take note of the many features aimed specifically at them.

Firefox has successfully grabbed a quarter of the browser market, but Google Chrome is growing very rapidly, and the fact remains that the world is moving to a new, need-driven browser model. For many people, it makes sense to run more than one browser. I'll definitely adopt Firefox 4, primarily because I use a lot of the best Firefox extensions, but I'll run Chrome as well.