Posted in: Desktop software

Firefox 4 Beta 1 released for public download, get yours now

The minefield days are over folks – Firefox 4 reached the beta stages of its development. The mine logo is now gone and bugs (expected as they may be) should no longer be too harmful to the general user experience.

The new Firefox 4 brings a host of new features plus improved performance and responsiveness. HTML5 video with support for the WebM format is what most of the fuss is about but you also get crash protection (which allows you to continue browsing even if a plug-in crashes) and improved security.

I just did a quick benchmark test with the newly released beta and it performed 82 percent better than Firefox 3.6.6. It’s still about 60 percent slower than Opera 10.60 but the general performance of the two browsers is quite comparable (those browsing JavaScript-heavy sites feel free to disagree).

The bad news is that most plug-ins are incompatible with Firefox 4 yet so the early upgrade will cost you one of the browser’s key features for a while.

If you are still willing to give it a spin, head for the Mozilla site and download the Firefox 4 beta 1. Just remember to post a comment with your first impressions afterwards.

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