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Firefox 4.0 Confirmed for Fall 2010, 2x More Performance over Firefox 3.5
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The next major version of the Firefox open-source browser for Mozilla will be made available to end users in approximately one year. While the fact that Firefox 4.0 was planned for general availability in the second half of 2010 was already a public detail, Mozilla has now confirmed this aspect officially courtesy of Chief Executive Officer John Lilly. According to Lilly, Mozilla will release Firefox 4.0 in the fall of 2010, with speculation pointing to either an October 2010 or a November 2010 launch.

In an interview with Netease Technology, Lilly talked about the future of Firefox beyond version 3.5, which Mozilla made available to end users earlier this year. The opportunity also served for Mozilla CEO to confirm that there would be no less than two versions of Firefox between 3.5 and 4.0. Firefox 3.6 is currently cooking, with an Alpha development milestone already offered to testers, and plans have been made public for the release of Firefox 3.7 early in 2010.

Mozilla is making headway toward a November 2009 GA for Firefox 3.6, currently codenamed Namoroka. Designed as a minor update to Firefox 3.5, version 3.6 will bring to the table enhanced personalization capabilities, deeper integration with Windows 7, and features such as Personas, asynchronous location bar, an evolved TraceMonkey engine, improved scrolling, optimized session restore, and a boost in terms of startup speeds, according to the official Firefox roadmap from Mozilla.

Following the release of v3.6, Firefox will evolve to 3.7, a release that is planned for availability in the spring of 2010. Firefox 3.7 will support out of process plugins and animation in XUL, but also the ability to run websites as apps and optimizations to pageload times and TraceMonkey.

It will be in autumn 2010 that users will be able to download and run the final version of Firefox 4.0, Lilly promised. The Mozilla CEO revealed that development was focused on improving the performance of the open-source browser. While Firefox 3.5 is twice as fast as version 3.0, Firefox 4.0 will deliver twice the speed of v3.5. In addition, Firefox 4.0 will include JetPack and Weave, and will come with an overhauled graphical user interface design not just for Windows 7, but also for Mac OS X and Linux.

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