Firefox 4: Beta 1 is Here

Mozilla has released Beta 1 of Firefox 4–an update with a more Chromelike, minimalist interface, an improved add-on manager (it occupies a full window rather than a teeny-tiny one), speed improvements, more support for emerging Web standards like HTML5 and Google’s WebM video format, and more. (Only the Windows version has the new interface so far–it’ll arrive for the Mac and Linux in a later beta.)

At the moment, I find myself in the weird situation of not having a favorite browser–I leap between Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Flock without giving it much thought, and sometimes take side trips to IE and Opera. I am, however, rooting for Firefox 4 to be good: I love browser competition, and I don’t want it to devolve into a battle between Microsoft and Google, which is the likely scenario if Firefox doesn’t stay popular and inventive.

More thoughts to come, but I have to do some troubleshooting–the Windows version I downloaded and installed is refusing to load Web pages. Here’s Mozilla’s blog post on the new version.


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