It's been a little while since we checked in
with web browser Mozilla, but a lot has happened in a short time. Faced
surging Chrome browser from Google Inc. (GOOG),
Mozilla has altered its strategy somewhat. Perhaps taking note of
Chrome's psychological advantage of a faster release schedule (Chrome 13 sounds
very advanced), Mozilla has pushed Firefox towards a shorter release cycle as
well adopting a new "Rapid
Firefox 4 launched
March 22, four months behind schedule. Since then Mozilla has kicked
things up a notch, releasing Firefox
5.0 on June 21. Now after five betas the company is
back at it, almost ready to release Firefox 6.0.
The installation executables for Windows, Mac,
and Linux (links)
popped up on Saturday, as
noted by posters on the Neowin forums.
While the installed browser's landed page is still stuck on the beta
testing page, a quick look at Help > About Firefox shows that this is indeed
the release channel final 6.0 build.
That led some to speculate that Firefox 6.0 might
be releasing early. Yet the days slipped by and Mozilla appears to be
content to release it on the previously announced date -- Tuesday, August 16.
Since late March, Firefox has
been available for the world's most used smart phone operating system
Android. Firefox 6 marks another release of desktop and Android browsers
There's not much in the way of cosmetic tweaks on
the desktop side. The biggest change you'll notice (or maybe won't) is
that the domain name is now bolded in the address bar. Where as
sub-domains in Chrome are also bolded, only the base domain is bolded in
Firefox, which is nice in a way, for quicker visual recognition.
Aside from bug fixes and web developer-centric
additions, the only other item of note an optimized "Panorama" tab
organizer. Mozilla says its now faster to loaded Panorama and surf
through your tab collection. A new permissions manager was rumored to be
planned (see Wikipedia) -- but is noticeably absent from the change log (Update: it's there -- you can find it by typing "about:permissions" in the URL bar, thanks Gungel!).
The release notes for the desktop version are available here,
while the bug fix log is available here.
On the Android side, the browser has been sped up,
uses less memory (thank you!), scales images better, and offers a "fresh
visual style in Chrome Gingerbread".
reporting that Mozilla is upset about people downloading
Firefox 6 (release) early (which begs the question of why they put it up in the
usual location). Mozilla reportedly said that early download traffic
overwhelms its servers and slows the standard release process.
Don't blink because you might miss Mozilla's next
launch. Along-side Firefox 6.0 will be Firefox 7 beta 1. Firefox 7,
which will reportedly offer "vastly" improved memory usage, will
release on Sept. 27, after only a single beta. Alongside Firefox 7
(release) will be Firefox 8 beta 1, another single-beta release. The
release version of Firefox 8 will drop November 8, just in time for
At this rate, we should hit Firefox 20 in holiday