Mozilla Jan. 14 rolled out its latest Firefox 4 beta version for users to test. Expect much better speed and performance, as well as Panorama technology for better group tabbing.
Mozilla released its new
Firefox 4 browser
beta to the public Jan. 14, offering a new look with an
emphasis on speed for users to play with on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Performance enhancements rev up start-up time,
page-loading and accelerate Web application and games. Mozilla's Kraken
performance benchmark shows it to be more than three times faster
than the current
Firefox 3.6.13 build.
The latest Firefox 4 beta includes
Panorama technology, which allows
open tabs to be grouped for easier Web surfing. Users may move Websites they always keep open to their tab bar with App Tabs.
Firefox Beta 4 also includes Firefox Sync, allowing users
to port their Awesome Bar history, bookmarks, open tabs and passwords across multiple
computers and smartphones.
Developers will benefit from support for HTML5, WebM and
HD video, 3D graphic rendering with WebGL, hardware acceleration and the
Mozilla Audio API for sound.
Calling the latest beta a "huge pile of
awesome," Chris Blizzard, director of product platform management, offered this developer tool overview
of the Firefox 4 beta.
With the official launch expected for February, the latest
Firefox 4 beta launch comes a few months after Mozilla launched
its Firefox 4 beta 1 for Android and
Nokia's Maemo OS, and several months after releasing
the initial Firefox 4 beta.
As the open source Web browser with the second biggest
share of the Web browser market behind Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox can
hardly be said to be struggling.
But its market share, along with IE, has stopped growing.
Firefox commands just shy of 23 percent of the worldwide market, where once it
held nearly 25 percent, according to
Thank Google's Chrome Web browser, which the search
to bring to 10 percent market share in two and a half years through
aggressive advertising on major publications, word of mouth, and its recent
push to blast Chrome out via its Chrome OS-based Cr-48 test notebooks.
Many Firefox users jumped ship for Chrome in the last two
years. Will Firefox's market share continue to decrease? Probably. Browser
users who follow high-tech tend to go with the hot hand and right now that's
But if Chrome development should slip, Firefox will be there to catch
users. From what we've seen and heard about Firefox 4, it's the
group's best work yet.
Mozilla is asking users to keep testing the Firefox 4 beta
on Websites and report issues with "anything from games, video and music
to graphics and forms through the Feedback button on the browser."