Firefox 3 Arrives

Dennis Faas's picture

After almost three years in development, the Mozilla Foundation released Firefox 3.0 yesterday. This latest and much anticipated iteration of the world's second most popular web browser has gone through three release candidates, and has been getting a lot of positive early reviews.

Analyst Walt Mossberg said, "Firefox 3.0 is the best Web browser out there right tops the current versions of both IE and Safari in features, speed and security." In addition to improvements in speed, security, and usability, the browser is also fashioned to look like a native application in all three of the major Operating Systems: Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. (Source:

I have to agree with Mossberg's evaluation. I did not put my copy of the browser through the paces that he did, but I have used Firefox 3.0 on both Windows and Mac computers, and it is still my favorite browser by far.

For me, the best improvement is the way Firefox 3.0 handles bookmarks. A star icon is now in the address bar, making it very easy to bookmark pages, and you can organize your favorites into folders and add tags by double-clicking the star. If you are a user, and have the site's official add-on installed, the double-click allows you to save pages directly to your delicious items as well.

Another cool feature is how the browser comes up with suggestions. Based on your browsing history and stored bookmarks, possible web destinations appear below the address bar as you type in a URL. Other browsers do this too, but in Firefox 3.0 the suggestions are easier to look at and include not only the web address, but the page title making it much easier to figure out what web pages you've been to.

After 34 months of development, Mozilla is very excited about their new release and the foundation encouraged people to host Firefox launch parties around the world. According to the website, 759 parties were planned with almost 5000 total guests attending. Mozilla was also looking to set a Guinness Record for the most software downloaded in a 24 hour period; Mozilla submitted proof of 8 million downloads and is waiting on Guinness to review the results. (

Firefox is not the only web browser popping the champagne corks in 2008. Opera 9.5 came out recently and Apple's beta. (Source:

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