It’s been some time now since they released their 1.0 version. Along the way, new bits and pieces were included in Firefox, like the session restore features, tagging support, address bar improvements, and many others, mostly along the line of security and support for web standards. Somehow, memory and speed have been issues that users had found wanting for the most part, and thankfully, they’ve started paying more attention to these two aspects of the browser with version 4.0.
Microsoft has Firefox to thank for for their browser’s continued survival with its latest versions (7, 8, and recently, 9). Who would have thought that Microsoft, who once said that IE (6) has all what the [Windows] users need, found the urgent necessity to upgrade their version 6 browser?
This time, in fairness to Google, Mozilla should be grateful to them for bringing a “third force” to the competition to keep them running fast. =) Personally, I’ve found earlier versions of Firefox to be more sluggish, given the amount of tabs that I have open as well as the number of useful addons that I keep for web development. Good thing, in version 4, the interface is more polished, the performance, way faster than before, and the memory, well, it’s gotten improved. I would not say it’s been the best I’ve seen so far in terms of memory consumption (there’s still this hoggish behavior at times whenever I look at my Task Manager), but with the setup that I have (addons, numerous tabs), I think the improvements have been fair enough.
It’s also nice to see that in the same way that they adopted Opera’s tabbed browsing when they first opened shop in 2004, they’re making the “tabs-on-top” feature now available as well, which Google’s Chrome pioneered. And, as has always been the case for Mozilla, they’re letting the user decide what layout is best for him/her. Tabs on top or not, the option is in the user’s hands.
Enough of the chit-chat. With the plethora of reviews on the ‘Net about Firefox 4’s new features, I’m stopping here. Grab your copy of Firefox 4 now and see for yourself!
Update: Still awake, and I chanced upon Air Mozilla’s live update — 1 million downloads within three hours! Wow!!!