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Mozilla Releases Firefox 3 Beta 3

Firefox 3 Beta 3 includes more than 1,300 fixes and is intended for testers and developers; casual Internet users are advised not to download it.
Mozilla has released Firefox 3 Beta 3, the latest test version of the open source Internet browser.

Firefox 3 Beta 3, released Tuesday, is intended for testers and developers; casual Internet users are advised not to download it. Known issues, including lack of compatibility with Windows Live Mail and systems freezes in Google Docs, make this release unsuitable for general use.

Beta 3 includes more than 1,300 fixes from the previous version. In addition to better performance and stability, Beta 3 includes improved security, ease of use, and personalization.

In terms of both form and function, the updated browser is now more elegantly integrated with Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows Vista.

Among the features that work better in the new version are one-click site info, which lets users click on the favicon in the Firefox location bar to find out more about a Web site, and malware protection, which warns users when they attempt to visit sites known to install malware.

In November, Jeff Jones, security strategy director in Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing group, posted a report on the vulnerabilities in Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox over three years. He found that Internet Explorer had fewer vulnerabilities than Firefox.

"While the data trends show that both Internet Explorer and Firefox security quality is improved in the latest version, it also demonstrates that, contrary to popular belief, Internet Explorer has experienced fewer vulnerabilities than Firefox," said Jones.

Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's VP of engineering, doesn't consider Jones' numbers trustworthy. In a blog post, he dismissed the vulnerability statistics as impossible to verify because Microsoft's security process ian't open to public scrutiny.

In its 2007 security report, Secunia found that Mozilla tended to post Firefox patches more quickly than Microsoft posted Internet Explorer patches.