The first fully-fledged Beta development milestone of the next generation of Mozilla’s open source browser is currently available for download. Testers and early adopters that have been waiting for Firefox 3.6, codenamed Namoroka, to evolve from Alpha stage are now free to access, download, install and start test driving the Beta 1 build. In addition to being the first Beta for Firefox 3.6, the development milestone offered by Mozilla is also the first example of a third-party browser to embrace Microsoft’s latest iteration of the Windows client. Just like the native Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 is designed to play nice with Aero Peek and Thumbnail Previews via the new Windows Aero Taskbar (Superbar) in Windows 7.
As you can see from the screenshot included below, Firefox 3.6 Beta users can now take advantage of the some of the same graphical user interface enhancements in Windows 7 as those running IE8. While Google and Opera are lagging behind when it comes down to tailoring their browsers to Windows 7, the same is not valid for Mozilla. And as Windows 7 became available for purchase on October 22, 2009, customers running the OS in combination with Firefox 3.6 will certainly enjoy the bells and whistles of the new Windows Aero GUI.
“The Mozilla community is proud to release Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 for download. This beta version of the next version of Firefox is built on the Gecko 1.9.2 web rendering engine, containing many improvements for web developers, Add-on developers, and users. The Mozilla community appreciates your feedback and assistance in testing this preview of the next version of Firefox. Your beta software will update itself periodically, and eventually will be updated to the final release itself,” revealed Mike Beltzner, Mozilla's director of Firefox.
Mozilla was initially planning to release Firefox 3.6 Beta ahead of October 22, but the amount of blockers pushed back the release. Beta 1 of Firefox 3.6 was also delayed this week by the necessity to respin after a last minute issue was discovered. Mozilla is looking to offer Firefox 3.6 Release Candidate (RC) in November and to release the final version of the browser also by the end of the next month, although all pointers indicate that the complete Firefox 3.6 could slip in December.
Mozilla enumerated some of the changes in Firefox 3.6 Beta:
“* This beta is available in more than 50 languages - get your local version.
* Users can now change their browser's appearance with a single click, with built in support for Personas.
* Firefox 3.6 will alert users about out of date plugins to keep them safe.
* Open, native video can now be displayed full screen, and supports poster frames.
* Support for the WOFF font format.
* Support for new CSS, DOM and HTML5 web technologies.”
Firefox 3.6 Beta (revision 1) for Windows is available for download here
Firefox 3.6 Beta (revision 1) for Mac OS X is available for download here