Firefox 2.0 Beta 2
Mozilla Firefox is a fast, light and tidy open source web browser. At its public launch in 2004 Mozilla Firefox was the first browser to challenge Microsoft Internet Explorer’s dominance. Since then, Mozilla Firefox has consistently featured in the top 3 most popular browsers globally. The key features that have made Mozilla Firefox so popular are the simple and effective UI, browser speed and strong security capabilities. The browser is particularly popular with developers thanks to its open source development and active community of advanced users.
Mozilla put of a lot of resources into creating a simple but effective UI aimed at making browsing quicker and easier. They created the tab structure that has been adopted by most other browsers. In recent years Mozilla has also focused on maximizing browsing area by simplifying toolbar controls to just a Firefox button (which contains settings and options) and back/forward buttons. The URL box features direct Google searching as well as an auto predict/history feature called Awesome Bar. On the right side of the URL box there are bookmarking, history and refresh buttons. To the right of the URL box is a search box which allows you to customize your search engine options. Outside of that a view button controls what you see below the URL. Next to that you have the download history and home buttons.
Firefox was the first browser to introduce a private browsing feature which allows you to use the internet more anonymously and securely. History, searches, passwords, downloads, cookies and cached content are all removed on shutdown. Minimizing the chances of another user stealing your identity or finding confidential information. Content security, anti-phishing technology and antivirus/antimalware integration ensures your browsing experience is as safe as possible.
Personalisation & Development
One of the best features of the Firefox UI is customization. Simply right click on the navigation toolbar to customize individual components or just drag and drop items you want to move around. The inbuilt Firefox Add-ons Manager allows you to discover and install add-ons within the browser as well as view ratings, recommendations and descriptions. Read more about the top recommended add-ons for Mozilla Firefox. Thousands of customizable themes allow you to customize the look and feel of your browser. Site authors and developers can create advanced content and applications using Mozilla’s open source platform and enhanced API.
Please note: from version 53.0 onward Windows XP and Vista are no longer supported.
- Visual Refresh: Firefox 2's theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability without altering the familiarity of the browsing experience. For instance, toolbar buttons now glow when you hover over them. We will continue to improve the look and feel throughout the release candidate process.
- Built-in phishing protection: Phishing Protection warns users when they encounter suspected Web forgeries, and offers to return the user to their home page. Phishing Protection is turned on by default, and works by checking sites against either a local or online list of known phishing sites. This list is automatically downloaded and regularly updated when the Phishing Protection feature is enabled. Please note that at this time we are using a limited list to test the core Phishing Protection framework within the browser. Users are encouraged to wait until a future release of Firefox 2 to verify the accuracy of the list of Web forgeries.
- Enhanced search capabilities: Search term suggestions will now appear as users type in the integrated search box when using the Google, Yahoo! or Answers.com search engines. A new search engine manager makes it easier to add, remove and re-order search engines, and users will be alerted when Firefox encounters a website that offers new search engines that the user may wish to install.
- Improved tabbed browsing: By default, Firefox will open links in new tabs instead of new windows, and each tab will now have a close tab button. Power users who open more tabs than can fit in a single window will see arrows on the left and right side of the tab strip that let them scroll back and forth between their tabs. The History menu will keep a list of recently closed tabs, and a shortcut lets users quickly re-open an accidentally closed tab.
- Resuming your browsing session: The Session Restore feature restores windows, tabs, text typed in forms, and in-progress downloads from the last user session. It will be activated automatically when installing an application update or extension, and users will be asked if they want to resume their previous session after a system crash.
- Previewing and subscribing to Web feeds: Users can decide how to handle Web feeds (like this one), either subscribing to them via a Web service or in a standalone RSS reader, or adding them as Live Bookmarks. My Yahoo!, Bloglines and Google Reader come pre-loaded as Web service options, but users can add any Web service that handles RSS feeds.
- Inline spell checking: A new built-in spell checker enables users to quickly check the spelling of text entered into Web forms (like this one) without having to use a seperate application.
- Live Titles: When a website offers a microsummary (a regularly updated summary of the most important information on a Web page), users can create a bookmark with a "Live Title". Compact enough to fit in the space available to a bookmark label, they provide more useful information about pages than static page titles, and are regularly updated with the latest information. There are several websites that can be bookmarked with Live Titles, and even more add-ons to generate Live Titles for other popular websites.
- Improved Add-ons manager: The new Add-ons manager improves the user interface for managing extensions and themes, combining them both in a single tool.
- Extended search plugin format: The Firefox search engine format now supports search engine plugins written in Sherlock and OpenSearch formats and allows search engines to provide search term suggestions.
- Updates to the extension system: The extension system has been updated to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions.
- Client-side session and persistent storage: New support for storing structured data on the client side, to enable better handling of online transactions and improved performance when dealing with large amounts of data, such as documents and mailboxes. This is based on the WHATWG specification for client-side session and persistent storage.
- SVG text: Support for the svg:textpath specification enables SVG text to follow a curve or shape.
- New Windows installer: Based on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, the new Windows installer resolves many long-standing issues.