About the Mozilla Firefox 4.0 many have been said even before the launch of the first beta version for tests. The software is scheduled to appear in October 2010. Firefox 4.0 is now a Beta release. This month Firefox 4.0 beta 5 appeared; a browser which seems to be focused on security and is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
I admit that I usually do not hurry up installing beta versions, but due to the fact that I wanted to write an article about Firefox 4.0 I downloaded and installed this new version. The install kit can be found on http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/beta, has a bit over 10 MB and can easily be downloaded with a fast internet connection. Even if before installing Firefox 4.0 I was thinking of getting rid of the previous 3.6.9 version in order so that I do not have unpleasant surprises I was impressed to see the 2 software work with no problems (obviously not in the same time).
Many say that the new Firefox is extremely similar to Google Chrome and copies elements from it. I find the 4.0 version to represent more of a mix between Google Chrome and Opera borrowing elements from both competing browsers. Anyway I doubt anyone thought Mozilla would reinvent the wheel.
Mozilla used the new Gecko 2.0 engine, and some of its new features are:
- HMTL 5 and CSS3 support;
- multi-touch support;
- WebM and HD video;
- Direct2D hardware acceleration (for Windows systems);
- HSTS – security protocol which prevents a series of IT attacks;
- Additional elements for confidentiality protection.
Beyond these purely technical aspects you will notice changes of the interface from the first glance. First of all comes the transparency effect which is visible to those using Windows Vista or 7 through the Aero technology used by the 2 operating systems
Secondly you will see that Mozilla decided to stop using the classical menus in favor of a single button in the upper left corner. This orange Firefox button (similar to the Opera red button) gives you the main features of the browser. If the Bookmarks and Downloads have remained unchanged in these beta version extensions, themes, and plug-ins have been brought to the system. In Firefox 4.0 once you press the add-ons menu you will notice a new tab through which you can activate or deactivate extensions and plugins, or select a different them when the usual one gets boring. Another new element is the Sync function that synchronizes your profile with Firefox servers. When you use more computers you can download your settings on any of them (that includes bookmarks and passwords).
Firefox 4.0 is certainly not revolutionary, but it is an improvement compared to previous versions. It remains to be seen whether Mozilla will release the new browser in time or will wait for the first part of the next year.