Major milestone reached.
I love Firefox about as much as I hate Internet Explorer (that’s ”a lot”) so I suggest this should tickle your unmentionables…
Firefox 3.0 Beta 2 is launched today and this milestone release brings with it a vast array of new features as well as performance and security improvements.
The biggies guaranteed to cause Redmond (more) sleepless nights are:
*New security UI with easy to understand messages (goodbye tech speak), including site identity verification and support for Extended Validation SSL certificates.
*Password Manager: make sure you’ve logged in with the right password before you get Firefox to save it.
*Automatic version check of plug-ins, extensions and Java, with auto-disabling if insecure versions are installed. Secure updates are now required to improve security of add-ons.
*Anti-virus integration with the new download manager (particularly vital)
*New “effective top-level domain” (eTLD) service which makes sure that cookies and other web content is only visible within a single domain, better protecting user privacy.
*New Download Manager: pause and resume downloads across sessions, see where downloads originated.
*Better rendering of international characters.
*Full-page zooming: zoom in and out of entire pages, scaling the layout, text and images (iPhone-tastic)
*UI improvements: animated tab strip makes it easier to find tabs, custom search bar width, tabs saving on exit and site-specific preferences.
*Organize browsing with ‘Places’, this includes history, bookmarks, tags and the location bar.
*Star and tag sites directly from the location bar.
*New organizer showing your full history, all bookmarks and providing advanced search, multiple views and smart folders.
*Enhanced location bar which matches against page titles and addresses from local history, bookmarks and tags.
*Better text and graphics rendering, colour profile support, layout improvements.
*Cycle collector for better memory management (let’s start the parade with this one).
*Support for offline browsing and web-based protocol handlers.
*Platform-specific enhancements, such as native widgets on Mac and Linux.
Yep, this really is a massive release. As always beta warnings apply: because glitches and bugs, this isn’t a finished product, don’t feed it to the dog, keep it away from the parrot, etc etc.
So if you’re comfortable moving away from the soft slopes of finaldom and slaloming the double black diamonds on the back bowls of betaland (yep, that was a stretched metaphor too far) I suggest you queue this along with this week’s other monster: Microsoft’s Windows XP SP3 Release Candidate.