Chicago (IL) - Mozilla fans still starry-eyed from the recent release of Firefox 2.0 can already get a glimpse at what the next version of the browser will look like, as an alpha version of Firefox 3.0 has recently been uploaded to Mozilla's public FTP server.
According to the Mozilla Wiki entry about Firefox 3, several enhancements are in development for the successor to Firefox 2, which was released less than two months ago. One new feature planned to be in the new browser is called "places", which takes a new approach to bookmarks and page history. Reportedly, these items will be transitioned to the left side of the browser, sort of like Internet Explorer 7.
Improvements to tabbed browsing will include the ability to move around and reorder tabs in a single browser, as well as a button right next to the last open tab that brings up a new tab, taking another page out of the IE7 list of features. Additionally, Firefox 3 will add the ability to receive automatic Firefox updates, like security updates.
Also, adding to a feature that was first shown in Firefox 2, version 3.0 will have increased session saving capabilities, including the ability to save all data logged in a single session, such as data entered into forms and posts, and the entire page viewing history. Resumable downloading will also be more easily available, and users have the option of whether or not to enable the session restoration prompt upon opening Firefox.
Since IE7, the first major release for IE since Firefox really began grabbing market share, the two browsers seem to be on a battle to take the best features from the competitor and add new enhancements to define itself as the best option.