Mozilla releases Firefox 3 beta 5 as 'public preview'


— 3:13 PM on April 2, 2008

Last month, Mozilla VP of Engineering Mike Schroepfer stated that Firefox 3 beta 4 was polished enough that it was not only good for developers and testers, but "ready for prime time." Earlier today, Mozilla released the fifth beta version of Firefox, and the organization says its new browser release is intended as a "public preview" for "community feedback."

The new beta 5 release brings a number of changes over Firefox 3 beta 4, including additional user interface tweaks intended to make Firefox blend in better with Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. Users will also find the following enhancements:

  • Changes and fixes for new features such as the location bar autocomplete, bookmark backup and restore, full page zoom, and others, based on feedback from our community.
  • Fixes and improvements to platform features to improve security, web compatabilty and stability.
  • Continued performance improvements: changes to our JavaScript engine as well as profile guided optimization continues to improve performance over previous releases as measured by the popular SunSpider test from Apple, and in the speed of web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office.
  • A more detailed list of new features and changes is available in the official release notes.

    We took this browser for a quick spin in the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark in order to put Mozilla's claims about higher performance to the test. On our 1.7GHz Pentium M laptop with 512MB of RAM and Windows XP SP2, Firefox 3 beta 5 completed the test in 5,497ms on average, which is nearly a whole second quicker than the beta 4 release's score of 6,329 ms. This showing also puts Firefox 3 ahead of Apple's Safari 3.1, whose score of 5,861ms made it the fastest browser we'd tested until today. (Thanks to TR reader SH SOTN for the link.)

       
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