Catching up to the competition is going to take Mozilla a little longer than expected. As CNet News reports, Mozilla has postponed the final release of Firefox 4.0 until 2011. The completed browser was originally due this year, but in a recent mailing list post, Mozilla Director of Firefox Mike Beltzner suggests getting it ready will take more work than expected:
Development on Firefox 4 has not slowed down and strong progress is being made daily. However, based on the delays in completing the "feature complete" Beta 7 milestone against which our Add-on developers and third-party software developers can develop, as well as considering the amount of work remaining to prepare Firefox 4 for final release, we have revised our beta and release candidate schedule.
The revised beta schedule calls for the arrival of the seventh beta early next month, with three additional betas due out by the end of the year. The first release candidate will be out in early 2011, followed eventually by the completed 4.0 release.
By then, I'd expect Google's fast-paced release schedule to have brought us at least Chrome 8. (Major new versions of Chrome are rolling out every six weeks or so.) The folks at Ars Technica also reckon Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9 will be out in the first half of next year.