Firefox Version 8 Available Ahead of Official Release
While many Firefox users are still working with version 7, Mozilla has now made version 8 available, and this version is definitely the next major iteration of the browser. Although Mozilla's official release date is November 8, you can get Windows, Mac and Linux versions here. Version 8, is, of course, yet another iteration in Mozilla's new rapid release cycle for its browser, but it also has a lot of new features. Here are some of the additions worth noting.
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 is true with all early versions of Firefox, though, you may run into trouble with some extensions while Mozilla irons out issues.
As we noted here, Firefox 8 also promises to compete more directly with Google Chrome in performance terms, and beta releases of version 8 have been much faster than older versions. Of course, as Susan proved in her recent post, some people feel that Firefox is simply released too often under the new release cycle. In her poll, nearly half of respondents said that Firefox is now released "way too often."
In any case, it will interesting to poke around the final release of Firefox 8, as Mozilla officials have made clear that it is a very major step for the browser.