Firefox 4 Released

Mozilla’s Firefox is popular free and open source web browser. On 22nd March 2011, Mozilla launched Firefox 4, which was codenamed “Tumucumaque”. Firefox 4 promises to deliver a fast, sleek and customizable browsing experience. It is based on Gecko 2.0 engine and it either adds  or improves support for HTML5, CSS3, WebGL. Support for WebGL provides 3D animation within browser. It comes with new JavaScript engine called JagerMonkey. Although, the JavaScript rendering is much improved but still Chrome seems way ahead. Interestingly enough, Firefox 4 also supports Google’s new open video format, WebM.

Currently, Firefox 4 is available for download on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platforms in more than 80 languages. Soon, firefox will debut on Android and Maemo based devices.Firefox 4 is definitely faster than its predecesors. The most useful feature seems to be Sync, which retains browsing history, passwords and bookmarks synchronized across different computers. Since, the comparison is with Chrome, so one has to say that the feature is not very well implemented. It requires unnecessary management and encryption/decryption makes the feature complexer.

It seems that the newer version of all popular browsers are trying to clone Chrome’s vertically minimal interface, Like IE9, Firefox 9 also tries to have a single menu button, but its an understatement to say that it looks poor and one feels like switching back to old menu bar. The Stop, Go, Refresh buttons also dont stop the resemblance with Chrome. But, it lacks the threaded tab processing of Chrome.

Firefox 4 is much improved but the Chrome is fast eating up the web browser market. On popular Acid3 compatibility tests Chrome 10 scores a perfect 100/100 while Firefox is closly behind at 97/100. In HTML5 test, Chrome 10 stands at 288 points in comparison to Firefox 4′s 240 points.

Chrome 10 maintains a slight advantage over Firefox, though both browsers are quite good at supporting the latest web standards.

Firefox 4 can be downloaded from official website at the URL http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/fx/