Mozilla releases first Firefox 3 release candidate

Here comes yet another pre-release version of Firefox 3. There's something special about this one though: it's the first Firefox 3 release candidate, so Mozilla could conceivably distribute it as a "final" release assuming testers don't find any show-stopping bugs over the next few weeks. If Mozilla's pitch that the beta 4 and beta 5 releases ought to be good enough for everyday use didn't convince you, the "release candidate" label probably should.

For users who've already played with the betas, Firefox 3 RC1 rolls in several new enhancements with the usual round of bug fixes. In Mozilla's words, those changes include:

  • Improvements to the user interface based on user feedback, including changes to the look and feel on Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X and Linux.
  • 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 compatibility 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.
  • One of the most noticeable UI tweaks in Windows Vista is the unified history and bookmarks browser, which now looks straight out of the Windows Photo Gallery:

    You'll find download links for versions of Firefox 3.0 RC1 in most major written languages on this page. Mozilla also has general release notes pertaining to all Firefox 3 builds over here. The notes highlight some of the new features, design changes, and remaining hiccups.

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