Mozilla has officially announced the release date for the latest and greatest edition of their popular Firefox browser. June 17th, 2008 is the official Firefox Download Day. To make things more interesting than a typical software release, Mozilla is attempting to organize a Guinness World Record Breaking attempt for the most software downloads in 24 hours. Head on over to the site and pledge your support… and then follow through by downloading on the 17th.
In addition to a chance to be part of the excitement, Firefox 3 will also improve your browsing experience with many new features:
- Smart Location Bar – Besides letting you type in a web site, as always, the location bar in Firefox 3 will also dynamically search your browsing history and provide you with a list of sites that match what you’ve currently typed. Both URLs and page titles from your history are searched, making for a very intuitive interface.
- Enhanced Security – In coordination with Google, Firefox 3 will warn you if you are about to visit a site which is know to supply malware and viruses.
- Faster and More Efficient – A key focus of this release has been increasing the speed at which you see your web pages, and decreasing the memory footprint of the browser. In a browser face-off, run by builder.au, Firefox 3 came out on top for efficiency.
- Easier Add-On Management – The new add-ons interface includes a search and browse system, directly inside the add-ons tab, instead of requiring the you to navigate to an external site.
If you’re really eager, you can download release candidates of Firefox today. The release candidate site has the latest downloads for various languages and operating systems. Before you migrate completely, check out the current known issues, to make sure you won’t be hit by any of them.
However, if you’re nervous and unsure about this upgrade, you can download the stand-alone version of Firefox 3 from PortableApps.com. They bundle up Firefox and it’s suitable for installation on a flash drive, but it can be installed on your hard-drive as well. The nice thing about this route is that it doesn’t touch your existing Firefox installation, you can install it, test it out, and delete the directory entirely if you aren’t happy with it.
For those of you who’ve never even tried Firefox, this is a great time to make a switch. Check out this face-off article for some reasons. They conclude that Internet Explorer 7 is the worst performing browser of those tested. Firefox 3 comes in near the top of the pack, beat only by Safari and Opera which both exhibit occasional compatibility problems on different sites.
Remember, Firefox 3 Download Day, June 17th… be part of record-breaking history!