Firefox 4 Beta 2 has been delayed for a few more days as the candidate build undergoes quality assurance tests, according to a note on Mozilla's Website. Firefox 4's new features are designed to head off a challenge from Google Chrome and other browsers.
Firefox 4's latest beta will be delayed a week, according to Mozilla, as it
undergoes more testing.
"Hi! We're glad you're interested in Firefox 4 Beta 2-it's not quite
ready yet," read
a posting on the Mozilla Wiki
. "Our candidate builds (FTP links below)
are still going through quality assurance tests." The release is now tentatively scheduled for July 29
a week later than the original estimate.
Firefox 4 Beta 3 is scheduled for release on Aug. 6.
Mozilla plans on rolling out additional versions of Firefox 4 every few
weeks, as it seeks to refine the browser. The
beta's new features offer a mix of aesthetic and performance improvements
including Stop and Reload icons merged into a single button, and a Smart
Location Bar that allows users to search for-and switch to-any open tabs. In
addition, the browser segregates browser plug-ins into separate processes, to
better protect against certain types of crashes, and includes native support
"Your feedback is essential to help shape the product, which is why we're
launching now to hear from you early in our development process," Mike
Beltzner, director of Firefox development at Mozilla, posted
July 6 on the Mozilla blog
On the Web development side of the equation, Firefox 4 includes an "experimental
Heads Up Display" analysis tool that offers developers a "peek into
dynamic Websites," as well as an HTML5 parser and Jetpack SDK (software
While Firefox sits in a relatively comfortable position with regard to its
to research company Net Applications
, the browser holds 23.81 percent of
the market, lagging behind Internet Explorer at 60.32 percent but well ahead of
its single-digit rivals-it faces a growing threat from Google Chrome, which has
been rapidly trending upward from 2.84 percent in August 2009 to its current
7.24 percent. Other browsers, notably Safari and Opera, are also gaining market
share, albeit more slowly.
The other front in the browser wars is taking place in the mobile space. On
July 17, Apple approved Mozilla's Firefox Home for the iPhone app, allowing
users to sync their desktop's Firefox history, bookmarks and open tabs with
their iPhone. Opera Mini is already available in Apple's App Store, introducing
the possibility of other mobile browsers finding their way onto the iPhone in
the near future. Mozilla, however, may not be among them.
"We do not have plans to ship the Firefox browser on the iPhone," reads a statement on
. "Due to constraints with the OS environment and
distribution, we cannot provide users Firefox for the iPhone."