Firefox 5 Graduates Out of Beta, Available for Download
Article by George Norman
On 22 Jun 2011
Back in May were announcing that the Beta version of Firefox 5 had been released to the public. There was only one thing that prevented regular users from getting Firefox 5 and enjoying the functionality it has to offer – the headache of dealing with a potentially buggy application. All Betas are buggy and may not work properly. That’s why they’re in Beta, so the bugs can be uncovered and addressed.

As of this week, there are no more reasons preventing users from using Firefox 5 and that’s because the browser has shed the Beta tag and is available for download as a final, stable version. You can get Firefox 5 for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X in a variety of languages straight from Mozilla here. Alternatively, if you’re on Firefox 4, you can click Help -> About Firefox to prompt a manual update.

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“The latest version of Firefox includes more than 1,000 improvements and performance enhancements that make it easier to discover and use all of the innovative features in Firefox,” announced Mozilla. “This release adds support for more modern Web technologies that make it easier for developers to build amazing Firefox Add-ons, Web applications and websites.”

To better put things in perspective, here are the main changes or the main new features Firefox 5 has to offer:
- CSS animations are supported.
- The Do-Not-Track header preference is now displayed in the Privacy section of the Options dialog. The move is meant to increase discoverability of the Do Not Track feature that allows tell advertising networks, websites, and application that you want to opt-out of behavioral advertising tracking.
- Performance improvements. Improved canvas, JavaScript, memory, and networking performance. In the SunSpider test, Firefox 5 is 9% faster than Firefox 4.
- Improved standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL, and canvas.
- Improved spell checking for some locales
- Improved desktop environment integration for Linux users.
- Background tabs have setTimeout and setInterval clamped to 1000ms to improve performance
- Several security problems have been addressed. You can read about the security bulletins that accompany Firefox 5 here.

For additional information on Firefox 5 check out the release notes here.



Tags: Mozilla, Firefox
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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