Mozilla Launches Firefox 5 Browser: 10 Things You Should Know About It

News Analysis: Mozilla has launched Firefox 5, the first in its rapid-release development cycle, and it delivers several things that users should know about as they decide whether to download it and try it out.

Mozilla has launched Firefox 5, the first release in its new plan to launch new versions of its browser several weeks apart.

Firefox 5 comes off the major success of Firefox 4 thatdelivered a host of important updates to the Firefox ecosystem and helped cement Mozilla's browser as a go-to platform for many people around the globe. However, the browser is facing stiff competition from Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari and Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Furthermore, Firefox 5 is arriving at a time when its chances of great success are slimmer than ever before.

But that doesn't mean it will fail. At this point, there's no telling what kind of future Firefox 5 has. The only thing that is known is if users see value in the browser, they'll download it; if they don't, they won't.

The following items will help make that decision more easily.

Read on to find out what everyone should know about Firefox 5:

1. It'll be updated quickly

With the launch of Firefox 5, Mozilla has implemented its new rapid-release development cycle. The idea behind it is for the organization to release new versions of Firefox several weeks apart to get updates into users' hands faster than ever. Though some are keen on the idea, others are concerned that Mozilla won't support previous versions long enough. Realizing that, it's incumbent upon Web users to keep in mind that Firefox 5 will be overshadowed in several weeks.

2. It has no major improvements

One of the biggest surprises about Firefox 5 is that it doesn't come with major improvements. Instead, the browser brings a host of small updates that should make it run a bit smoother than Firefox 4. Whether or not it's a bad thing that Firefox 5 doesn't come with major updates is up for debate. But itmight make some folks who skipped Firefox 4 question whether or not a jump to Firefox 5 is worth it.

3. It addresses many bugs

According to Mozilla, Firefox 5 has more than 1,000 improvements. However, the vast majority of those are bug fixes. With Firefox 5, users will find bug fixes related to crashes, fonts and other small issues people were experiencing with Firefox 4. But keep in mind that all those updates should make Firefox 5 more stable than its predecessor.

4. It's slower than counterparts

According to reviews across the Web, Firefox 5 is slower than Google Chrome. Though I didn't use benchmarking software and only compared load times for different Websites, I witnessed the same speed issues with Firefox 5. Of course, just because it's slower than Chrome doesn't mean Firefox 5 isn't fast-it is. But those looking for the fastest browsing experience today will find that from Google, not Mozilla.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...