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Firefox 5 Release Date on June 21; Free beta download now available

Firefox 5 Official Release Date on June 21; Free beta download now available

Just a couple days shy of its official release date, the latest Firefox 5 web browser is already available for download from Mozilla. Last month we talked about the Firefox 5 beta and the new faster update cycle that Mozilla has adopted to keep up with the new kid on the block, Google Chrome. Now the final version of Firefox 5 is available for download for Windows, Mac and Linux users.

With Firefox 5 users receive support for CSS animation and an easier to access do-not-track setting which has been made available at the top of the privacy pane, however most of the previous versions UI remains in place.

While you can grab Firefox 5 right now, you might want to wait until June 21 when the company will officially launch version 5, just in case there are any last minute changes to the browser before it goes viral.

The people at Mozilla have not joked when they said that Firefox 5.0 will be launched mid this year. The company released version 4.0 of Firefox at the end of March, a version that was so far downloaded over 190 million times.

The facilities offered by the new browser include:

  • support for CSS animation, offering web developers the ability to include text slides in browser
  • integration with Google Search services
  • add-blocker to block popup windows
  • “find as you type” feature useful as you type text
  • sandboxing technology for a secure execution of potentially hazardous components of web pages.

Following the path cut by Google with Chrome’s rapid-release program, the changes to Firefox 5 are several orders of magnitude smaller than those made in Firefox 4 yet are not insignificant. Most importantly, Firefox 5 release candidate makes multiple under-the-hood tweaks to improve performance. Memory management, JavaScript rendering, canvas, and networking performance have been enhanced, and background tabs will load faster thanks to locking down the setTimeout and setInterval timeouts to 1000 milliseconds. Standards support has also been updated for coding languages like HTML5, SMIL, and MathML, and the browser now supports CSS animations.

Firefox 5 also disables cross-domain elements as the source for WebGL textures as a response to security concerns involving hardware acceleration. This will break some Web sites and prevent them from resolving properly, although Mozilla says that it is discussing solutions with WebGL developers.

In a minor interface change, Mozilla’s Do Not Track header preference has been moved in an effort by the company to make it easier for users to find. Do Not Track is an effort spearheaded by multiple browser makers to get advertisers to respect the desire of people who don’t want ads to track them as they browse around the Internet. It works by adding a line to a Web site’s meta tags.

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