With most of the interface and feature work complete, Mozilla turns its attention to improving performance.
As Mozilla has slowly moved toward the release of the next version of its Firefox browser, the company has continued to revamp the interface and add features. But what about the most common complaint against Firefox, namely its lagging performance?
Well, with the recent release of Firefox 4 beta 7, Mozilla (www.mozilla.com) appears to have taken some serious steps toward fixing the browser performance.
In tests using a variety of browser benchmarking tools, including Futuremark’s Peacekeeper, I saw pretty good performance with the latest beta of Firefox 4.
Based on these tests, Firefox 4 beta 7 is showing significant improvement over Firefox 3.6 and even displayed a good boost over the previous Firefox 4 betas. In many of the tests, Firefox 4 beta 7 is grouped solidly with -- even sometimes ahead of -- the latest versions of browsers, such as Opera and Safari and is not far behind performance leader Google Chrome.
If your system has OpenGL-capable graphics hardware, you should also see a performance increase on some websites due to WebGL now being enabled by default in this release.
From an interface standpoint, not much has changed from the previous betas. On Windows systems, the upper-lefthand Firefox button from which most menu functions are accessed has changed in appearance.
Also, the Sync feature, which makes it possible to sync browser information across systems and devices, is now enabled by default.
One somewhat cool new feature in this beta is an implementation of what was called Firefox Panorama. It is now possible to see a screen with large thumbnails of all open tabs (in many ways similar to the new tabs screens in most competing browsers), making it easy to view them at a glance, combine them into groups or bookmark them.
Like most modern browsers, this beta of Firefox 4 also adds support for HTML 5 technology, including new features for video and for browser history.
Supposedly this beta of Firefox 4 is feature-complete, meaning any subsequent betas will likely include only fixes and that this will probably be what the final product is like.
To try out the new beta 7 of Firefox 4, go to www.firefox.com/beta.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo 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.
IT Strategies to Conquer the CloudChances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.