It was not long ago that Firefox 4 was officially released, staying true to their promise of offering a faster release cycle, Mozilla just released the final testing beta version of Firefox 5. In the past, avid Firefox users have come to expect major interface changes, loads of new features and better performance with each major version release. But since Mozilla decided to roll out small frequent release updates, a strategy that's similar to Google Chrome, users have learned to manage their expectations.
So what does Firefox 5 can offer? Version 5 does come with a lot of fixes but unfortunately when it comes to user interface or tools its offerings are pretty much non-existent. With Mozilla's new release schedule, any features or tweaks that won't make the release date and basically removed from that version. So with faster release cycle, you can't really expect anything significant even with a new numbered version.
Probably one of the most apparent change that was applied to Version 5 is the "Do Not Track" feature which is found under the Privacy tab when accessed through the Options dialog. This feature will inform visited websites not to store or save any information from the user. But this is seen as useless for now because not all websites supports this feature, nor they are obligated to do so.
Under the hood, Firefox 5 now has improved support for HTML5, XHR, SMIL, MathML and Canvas. I've tested version 5 on HTML5test.com and it scored 255 out of 400, which is exactly the score that Version 4 got. And is still inferior when compared to Chrome with a score of 291 out of 400. Aside from that, Version 5 is said to have added support for CSS animations which enables effects like text slides across windows with the use of keyframes.
Users aren't really clamoring for a new version of Firefox, with Version 4 rolled out about only 3 months ago. At the end of the day, it seems that there is a notable lack of enthusiasm for this particular release of Firefox, and this could really hurt it in terms of popularity. The popularity of Firefox have been declining as of late. They started the year with 22.75% and by the end of last month they were down to 21.71%. Of course, this can be attributed to the fact that Google Chrome is giving them a very strong competition and maybe even the new Internet Explorer 9 which is also gaining grounds this year.
Before you decide to upgrade to Version 5, keep in mind that it is highly likely that not all of your addons and extensions will work with it. So if you are using many extensions and addons, then upgrading may not be your best option.
As of now, Firefox 5 beta is pretty much an irrelevant release and provides users with very little incentive to upgrade or switch browsers. Or at least you might want to upgrade when it is officially released. But if you want to try out Version 5, download links are below.