Firefox 8: The Next Major Version of Mozilla's Browser

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 10, 2011

While many Firefox users are still working with version 7, Mozilla has made a beta version of Firefox 8 available, and this version can be thought of as the next major iteration of the browser. You can download the beta now. It's the latest of several upgrades to Firefox that Mozilla has delivered since moving to a rapid release cycle in February, which came in response to machine gun-paced releases of Google Chrome. Firefox version 8, is in Mozilla's own view, the next big upgrade.

Among many new features, Firefox 8 lets you do Twitter searches directly from your toolbar. Firefox 8 also works more efficiently with tabs, and facility with tabs is one reason that many people favor Firefox. Another reason some people favor Firefox is that the universe of great extensions for the browser is substantial, but some recent versions of Firefox have been criticized for having problems with add-ons.

Firefox 8 warns users before they launch any extensions for the first time, and Mozilla has also confirmed that version 8 will simply work better with extensions. Mozilla has been steadily soliciting reports from users who have problems with extensions, and implementing better processes for working with extension developers.

As we noted here, Firefox 8 also promises to compete more directly with Google Chrome in performance terms. In recent years, although Mozilla stresses that beta versions of Firefox are only for testing, the beta versions have also been pretty stable. There are reports that Google Chrome may soon surpass Firefox in market share, but many users are going to move to Firefox 8.