Firefox 3 beta 4 hits the web

— 12:57 PM on March 11, 2008

The fourth beta of Mozilla's upcoming Firefox 3 web browser has become available. This new beta brings Firefox 3 one step closer to release, and it introduces some additional polish and bug fixes over previous beta releases.

For instance, Mozilla has made some extra changes to the browser's look and feel in order to better integrate it with the native user interfaces of Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux desktops. The new beta also includes some performance improvements, which should make the browser "much faster" in web apps like GMail and reduce the amount of memory used over long browsing sessions. Other changes include a new location bar algorithm based on "site visit recency and frequency," JavaScript 1.8 improvements, and support for offline data storage in web apps.

You can read more about the new beta in the official release notes, and the beta itself can be grabbed from this page for Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux in 40 different languages. Like all betas, this probably shouldn't be used on production systems, and Mozilla stresses that it's "intended for testing purposes only." Next up is the beta 5 release, which is scheduled for a code freeze on March 18 and will presumably roll out in early April. Mozilla suggests this will be the last beta release for Firefox 3, so the browser should be hitting the release candidate stage before long.

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