If you have been an avid Firefox user, then you are most likely aware that it was just a few days ago when Mozilla Firefox 7 was officially released. But that doesn't mean that the Mozilla team are already resting on its tracks. This is because unsurprisingly, Firefox 8 beta is already available for download and you can get it now.
There is no doubt about the fact that Mozilla Firefox is one of the most popular browsers around and it showed the world that users need not to be stuck with their machine's stock web browsers. While Firefox did reign as the number 1 web browser of choice for quite some time, it's popularity waned when one of its current, fiercest competition came into the picture, Google Chrome. Ever since, the Mozilla team adopted a faster release cycle similar to Chrome's, in an effort to gain its web browser dominance once again.
So what can you expect from Mozilla Firefox 8? Well from what it looks like, don't expect any interface changes because there seems to be none. But there's one notable feature that was added to this version of Firefox that power users will certainly like. Now there is an option that allows Firefox to only load a tab when they are selected. Currently for users who uses Firefox's session saver feature, all tabs will be loaded by the browser. So if you have multiple tabs, this causes Firefox startup to slow down and in some cases even unresponsive. But with this new feature, startup times should be significantly improved.
Another enhancement which is quite minor is the addition of Twitter to Firefox's search engine list. But if you will not be using the feature, you can easily remove Twitter (or any other website) from the search engine list by accessing the Manage Search Engines option. And based on the change log, it appears that a couple of enhancements in terms of memory handling and performance were present as well which is never a bad thing considering how Firefox can be quite a resource hog. Here are the other changes for Firefox 8:
- Add-ons installed by third party programs are now disabled by default
- Added a one-time add-on selection dialog to manage previously installed add-ons
- Improved performance and memory handling when using <audio> and <video> elements
- Added CORS support for cross-domain textures in WebGL
- Added support for HTML5 context menus
- Added support for insertAdjacentHTML
- Improved CSS hyphen support for many languages
- Improved WebSocket support
If you want to try out Firefox 8 beta, download links are provided below. But keep in mind that some of your extensions may not work with this version of Firefox so take that into consideration before updating.