The new version of Mozilla Firefox is out--grab a beta copy now! There have been doubts if Firefox can keep making inroads against Microsoft's Internet Explorer, given the fact that IE 7 is now out in beta and has many of the features that the internet community has come to expect from a "modern browser" (tabbed browser, feed integration, etc.). However, it appears as if the Mozilla team is going strong with the latest preview of Firefox and will beat Microsoft to the market in the latest round of the browser wars.
New Firefox Features:
- Search engines - the simplistic search tool has been given an update, especially with the ability to natively remove engines from Firefox.
- Tabbed browsing - a tab-close button now rests on each tab, making the closure of tabs more intuitive. The tabs are now able to me moved around, without an extension.
- Spell Checking - form boxes are now checked by Firefox. A nice tool for anyone using form boxes for blogging software.
- Options Menu - the ever evolving option menu gets a face lift again, this time with some new features.
- Feed Integration - Live Bookmarks are taken a step forward--Firefox can now put a feed into your RSS program and various RSS web readers. Also, once a feed is clicked, a nicely formatted page is displayed instead of the raw XML.
- Anti-Phishing Tools - Firefox checks the page against Google or a precompiled database to help users know if the website is authentic.
The only issue I ran into during nearly a week of testing is that my current antivirus program (AntiVir Guard) identified Firefox's anti-phishing tool as spyware. This identification occurred repeatedly, even after chosing to ignore, delete, or quarantine. Firefox did not suffer when losing this file, however, it is expected that the anti-phishing tool will not work as accurately, if at all. Mozilla's forums indicated that this was a known issue, so hopefully AVG will adjust their rules accordingly before Firefox is released in late October.