10 things to drool over in Firefox 4

Speed, simplicity, privacy, security and HTML5 support are some features that promise to make Mozilla's new browser a winner

By Katherine Noyes, PC World |  Internet, Firefox, Firefox 4

Mozilla's Firefox 4 is now officially expected to debut on Tuesday March 22, following hard on the heels of Google's Chrome 10 and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9.

[ See also: Best Firefox extensions: Organize your way to a better Firefox ]

With so many new browser releases coming out in such rapid succession, it stands to reason that at least some users are going to need some help figuring out which now works best for them.

Toward that end, I had a chat earlier today with Johnathan Nightingale, Mozilla's director of Firefox development, to get a sense of what the final release of Firefox 4 will bring. Here are some of the highlights of what we can expect.

1. More Speed

With its new JägerMonkey JavaScript engine, Firefox 4 delivers huge performance enhancements, Nightingale told me, including faster startup times, graphics rendering and page loads. In fact, in performance tests on the Kraken, SunSpider and V8 benchmarks, for example, Firefox 4 blew away previous versions of the browser, with performance results between three and six times better.

Firefox 4 also outdid Chrome 10, Opera 11.1 and Internet Explorer 9 in the Kraken benchmark, as GigaOM recently noted. Bottom line: It's blazingly fast.

2. Less Clutter

Tabs are now given top visual priority in Firefox 4 so as to enable more efficient and intuitive browsing. In addition to its new "tabs on top" layout, however, the software now also offers a number of other features to make it simpler and more streamlined.

A Switch to Tab feature, for instance, helps reduce tab clutter by automatically calling up an already-tabbed URL rather than duplicating it all over again. "It took my tab list from 80 to 90 down to 50 or 60," Nightingale said.

"The slowest part of browsing is often the user," he explained. "If you have 200 tabs open and you can't find the right one, that's the slow part."


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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