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11 May 2010, 09:53

Mozilla's Beltzner announces Firefox 4 plans

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Firefox Logo Mozilla has announced early product plans for version 4 of Firefox, the next major update to its popular open source web browser. According to an Air Mozilla presentation by Mike Beltzner, Mozilla's director of Firefox development, Firefox 4 will focus on three primary goals, making the browser Fast, Powerful and Empowering. The Mozilla developers hope that, in addition to making it "super-duper fast", enabling open standard web technologies, such as HTML5 and CSS3, will make their browser even more powerful. Beltzner says that users should be empowered and put in "full control of their browser, data, and Web experience."

Planned improvements for version 4 of Firefox include a new extension (add-ons) manager, an account manager, better tab management and basic application tab support. Other changes will include a full screen API, background updates, better geolocation support, Firefox Sync (also known as Mozilla Weave) and an updated user interface (UI). Beltzner notes that these plans are still "fluid and are likely to change."

The developers hope to release a beta of Firefox 4 in late June of this year aimed at "early adopters and mainstream users", and a release candidate in October. Assuming no major issues arise, the final version of Firefox 4 should ship in November 2010.

More details about Mozilla's plans for Firefox 4 are available in a post from Beltzner on his personal blog. A video presentation (ogg video) and slides are also provided. Mock-ups for the Windows version of Firefox 4 are available on the Mozilla Wiki. The latest stable release of Firefox is version 3.6.3 from early April.

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