Browser Race – Chrome 12, Firefox 5 released, Safari 5.1 coming

There is so much happening in the world of web browsers. Google Chrome has set a cycle of faster iterations and Mozilla followed by reducing its cycle of 2 years for one major release to around 2-3 months. Microsoft IE 9 was released on 14th March and Mozilla Firefox 4 was released on 24th March 2011. Mozilla has planned around 4 major releases this year. And IE10 preview was available only 1 month after the release of IE9. Let’s cover few developments in this post

Mozilla Firefox 5

The version 4 of Mozilla’s Firefox browser was release on 22nd March 2011. And, as per the process releases, Firefox 5 was scheduled for June 21 release. And it arrived on schedule. Yesterday, Mozilla announced the new release of Firefox for Windows, Linux, Mac and Android. Firefox 6 is available on Aurora channel and a beta is expected in a time of a couple of weeks. Firefox 5 is claimed to have more than 1000 new features and updates, which includes support for new standards, memory fixes and performance improvement. The noticeable among Firefox 5 features are

  1. A Do-Not-Track header preference to increase discoverability. Now, users can choose the way their browsing behavior is tracked.
  2. Added support for CSS animations
  3. Improved support for HTML5 features like Canvas, XHR, MathML and SMIL.
  4. Improved performance of JavaScript, Network and memory.

The development channel switcher introduced in beta version has been removed. To support the development of new add-ons, Mozilla also released Firefox Add-on SDK for Windows, Mac and Linux. For further reading, you may visit the official release notes page. The complete list of bug fixes is also available on the site.

Download Firefox 5 for Windows

You can download aurora and beta releases from the respective channels.

Apple Safari 5.1

Apple is reported to have release developer preview of Safari 5.1 web browser for both Windows and Mac OS X. It is believed to improve support for CSS3 and HTML5. CSS3 improvements include CSS3 Auto-Hyphenation, Text Emphasis, vertical text and CSS3 transitions and animations. It is expected to deliver improved graphics, media caching using HTML5 application cache. Its new process architecture separates rendering process from application process.

The Apple developer site hosts the developer preview of Safari 5.1.

Google Chrome 12

Well, when new major releases are coming from almost all top vendors, how can we forget the fastest player in the race, Google Chrome! Google Chrome 11 was released on 27th April and we already have the stable version updated to 12 on 7th June. The new version includes improvements in security, privacy and graphics. The security has been enhanced with Safe Browsing technology. Graphics support continues to improve with hardware accelerated 3D CSS. To experience the 3D CSS, Google has setup an experimental URL. Chrome is going by its 6-week release schedule. The existing users will get updated automatically. New users can download Chrome 12 from official URL.

IE10 developer preview was available just 1 month after the release of IE9.

With new releases coming so often and the world of web all set to change with HTML5 and CSS3, the older versions are fast getting outdated. Enough reasons for Google to discontinue support for Firefox 3.5, IE7 and Safari3.

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