Yesterday Mozilla updated its release schedule to include Firefox 3.1 Beta 3, set to go live on March 10th at 2pm PST. Whether or not it actually lands in the hands of public end-users is another question.
Believe it or not, Firefox 3.1 hasn't seen a major upgrade since June 2008, however hopeful users seeking new features and improvements of the Internet browser can expect to see Beta 3 to go live on March 10. This is, of course, will only happen if the current version actually went into code freeze last night, and Mozilla kicks off the QA testing later today as originally scheduled.
But as of Monday night, Mozilla had not completely resolved the TraceMonkey issue, thus consumers will see Beta 4 addressing those issues when released in April. Progress of Firefox 3.1 has been fragmented since its original 2008 launch date, held back by various bugs and the development of TraceMonkey. Just this year alone, Beta 3 experienced two major setbacks, first in mid-January and then again a week later. However, several Firefox developers felt that Beta 3's development process was taking too long, especially in light of TraceMonkey.
"Without Tracemonkey, we probably could have shipped 3.1 (final) by now (or, if not now, within the next month), since other areas would have been under more pressure to finish sooner," said David Baron back on February, "and since some of the things we've been adding to the blocker list lately (in Layout, anyway) feel a lot more like 22.214.171.124 blockers than 3.1 blockers."
Hopefully Mozilla will stay true to the schedule and release Beta 3 on March 10. However, more delays will only keep Firefox from gaining ground once Microsoft releases Internet Explorer later this month; Apple's Safari 4 went into public beta last week.