Firefox 3.6 Delayed; 4.0 in Late 2010/Early 2011

Firefox 3.5 may be the world's most popular web browser now, but that won't stop Mozilla from pushing ahead to release 3.6 and eventually 4.0. Of course, maybe the lead in web share now has Mozilla a little bit more comfortable in taking time to make things just perfect.

Mozilla originally slated Firefox 3.6 to be released at the end of 2009, but that goal has now been moved to sometime in the first quarter of 2010, CNet reported. (Those adventurous and frothing at the mouth for 3.6 can run the public beta, which I've been doing solely for the Windows 7 Aero peek enhancements.)

The browser wars are now deeper than just Mozilla trying to wrestle market share away from Microsoft (though that is still the main goal). Now Firefox has to deal with speedy alternative Chrome from Google, which has just recently reached to Linux and Mac OS.

The competition from Google is helping to fuel innovation for Firefox 4, such as moving each tab into its own separate process and cleaning up the interface to maximize browser content area.

Here is one proposed interface change for Firefox 4 as compared to the current layout for 3.5:

Read more about new UI tweaks here.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • sliem
    Copy cat.
  • sunflier
    With so many IT related products being delayed, 2010 should be a big year for the industry.
  • zehpavora
    Oh no... The tab is the copy of Chrome's. I don't like Chrome's Tab. The Frame is OK, though.
  • maestintaolius
    Ugh, what's with this ribbon style trend that everything seems to be going towards? I hate these simplified, "clean-looking" interfaces with one magic button. I refuse to 'upgrade' to office 7 from 2003 (at home, at work I didn't have a choice) because I hate the ribbon with a fiery vengeance. The reason there's 50 icons on my desktop is because I hate having to go through 20 menus to find the file I need or to change the font. Maybe some people like to have everything hidden and pretty but I, personally, want most features right in front of me and 1-click away.
  • Shadow703793
    I don't care much for the UI tweaks, I am fine with the Fire Fox UI already. HOWEVER, I DO want native 64bit support. "Minefield" has been in Alpha/Beta for just over 2 years now... providing IE already has native 64 bit I don't see WHY FF can't do it already...

    Anyways, 3.6 Beta 5 runs solid on Win 7 x64 and Fedora x64. All my ad-ons work fine.
  • ashrafpasha
    You can configure the ribbon to include only the icons you want. SO its easier than before.
  • phatboe
    How about making Firefox less bloated. The UI is fine IMO, having tabs in separate processes would be nice and supplying native 64-bit builds for windows would be nicer but I really want to see FF become leaner.
  • Otus
    "Minefield" has been in Alpha/Beta for just over 2 years now...

    Minefield is the name of the development (trunk) version of Firefox, so it will always be (pre-)alpha. As for 3.6, the first alpha was in August and pre-alpha development has been ongoing since around the first few betas of 3.5/3.1 early this year. That's not two years by any stretch - even Firefox 3.0 is much less than two years old.

    I agree that 64-bit support for Windows would be cool, but luckily it has been there for some time on Linux.
  • Why do we need native 64 bit Firefox? Does it bother you that your flash animations can ONLY consume 2 or 3gb of ram? If anybody can provide a reason why they actually need their Firefox to be native 64 bit, I'll eat my hat.

    PS: "I want all of my apps to be 64 bit because 64 is a bigger number than 32" does not constitute a good reason.
  • Arguggi
    Even Opera seems to be on the move:

    The new 10.50 pre alpha snapshot with the new Javascript engine Carakan seems to be faster even then Chrome 4 beta!

    Firefox has always had to long start up times for my tastes.