Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.6 - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Cloud // Cloud Storage
News
1/21/2010
01:25 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.6

The latest version of Mozilla's open source browser arrives amid warnings about the security of Internet Explorer.

Mozilla on Thursday released Firefox 3.6, a revamped version of its open source Web browser.

The timing of the release couldn't be much better: Firefox 3.6 arrives following recent recommendations by French, German and Australian IT security organizations that computer users stop using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 due to a critical browser vulnerability.

Though Microsoft just released a fix for the problem, the number of Internet Explorer users downloading Firefox in Germany grew by 300,000 over the past week.

That's the sort of good news Mozilla needs with Google's Chrome browser now competing for the hearts and minds of Internet users.

In a recent phone interview, Mike Beltzner, Mozilla's director of Firefox, described the virtues of Firefox in terms very similar to those Google uses when promoting Chrome: speed, stability, and security.

"One of the things we wanted to do with this is develop a smaller and faster release," he said.

Firefox 3.6, Beltzner said, strives to reflect Mozilla's belief that users should have full control over their browser. It should also be secure and fast, he said.

Toward that end, Firefox 3.6 is more than 20% faster than Firefox 3.5. It's more stable and secure, thanks to changes in the way third party plug-ins work and get updated. And it's more customizable, the result of new user-selectable themes called Personas.

The upgraded browser also features support for new Web technologies, including many HTML5 elements like the video tag, the File API for local file storage, and CSS gradients. It now supports location-aware browsing on some laptops and mobile devices, and its supports the Web Open Font Format, known as WOFF.

In theory, the video tag allows HTML5 compliant Web browsers to play online videos without using a proprietary video technology like Flash.

Unfortunately, unlike Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer (with Google Frame), Firefox 3.6 doesn't currently work with the experimental HTML5 video player that YouTube introduced on Wednesday. A Mozilla spokesperson said the license for H.264 video -- used on YouTube -- is incompatible with license requirements for Web standards.

In a sign that Mozilla is looking to the health of its developer community, as Apple, Google, and Microsoft do, Beltzner said that Mozilla is considering different models to help add-on developers monetize their code. Mozilla's add-ons site already presents those who download add-ons with a suggested contribution amount, but a more formalized e-commerce operation could emerge.

"We don't want to create and app store which is restrictive or mediated," he said.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Annual IT Salary Report 
Base pay for IT professionals has remained flat this year with a median annual salary of $88,000 for staff and $112,000 for management. However, 58% of staff and 62% of managers who responded to our survey say they're satisfied with their compensation. Download this report to find out which positions earn the highest compensation.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll