Mozilla finally launches Firefox 3.5. (Full Version)

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astra -> Mozilla finally launches Firefox 3.5. (7/1/2009 5:34:30 AM)

Mozilla has finally launched Firefox 3.5 almost exactly a year after the browser's last major upgrade.

The browser, which was initially planned to be named 3.1, first entered public testing with an Alpha 1 release in July 2008, then moved to beta last October. The browser moved to release candidate stage this month.

The launch makes good on a Mozilla promise to ship the browser in the first half of the year. Early in development, however, Mozilla said it was shooting for a quick turnaround for the upgrade, and pegged a late 2008 date. Those plans were made moot by decisions to delay the upgrade in order to add significant new features, and then to deal with numerous hard-to-handle bugs.

"There are some great new enhancements here," said Sherri McLeish, an analyst with Forrester Research, who noted that some of those additions, in fact, played catch-up to Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 and Google's Chrome. "Part of this release is to provide a private browsing mode," observed McLeish.

Unlike last year, Mozilla didn't heavily promote the upgrade this time. In June 2008, Mozilla coordinated Firefox 3.0's availability with an attempt to set a world record for downloads. In the ensuing rush, Mozilla's servers were briefly overwhelmed.
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