It has taken longer than expected, but – the Programming Gods forbidding – Firefox 1.5 will touch down today.
The exact time of arrival is given as The afternoon of Tuesday, November 29, 2005 (Pacific Standard Time) which basically means anywhere from 8pm onwards in the UK. This is probably a good thing since it means you won’t spend all your time at work fiddling around with it; though that could be a bad thing depending on your point of view.
So after seven previous betas (starting with Deer Park Alpha 1 back in May) what will we be getting? Well, previous release notes show that 1.5 will be the most significant upgrade of the browser yet, focusing on major performance improvements, simplified updating, the usual raft of security enhancements and far greater customisation options.
Looking at specifics there are too many to name, but some that stood out for me include: drag and drop reordering of browser tabs, automated product updates, profile migration for Safari users, image thumbnails as tab icons, full FTP support, a ‘Sanitize’ button to instantly remove all browser cookies, cache, saved information and other personal data, translucent windows and a search extensions manager.
With over 100m downloads of Firefox since its launch last November, version 1.5 is sure to be popular. One in ten web surfers have now made the migration and more look set to follow. With Internet Explorer 6 nearly four years old now (that's around 250 Computer Years!) one thing is certain: IE7 will have a monumental amount of ground to make up.
Update 11.58pm GMT
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