Mozilla’s Firefox 5 To Arrive In June

Mozilla’s Firefox 5 will be released around the end of June with an enhanced user interface and more social networking-centric features, rumours have revealed.

News of the fifth version emerged only two weeks after its predecessor, Mozilla Firefox 4, attracted millions of downloads within 24 hours of its launch.

According to a draft Firefox roadmap strategy, Mozilla is planning to ship not only Firefox 5, but also Firefox 6 and 7 by the end of this year. “Changing the way we ship products will require the re-evaluation of many assumptions  and a large shift in the way we think about the size of a ‘major’ release,” said the report. “The criteria for inclusion should be no regressions, well understood effects for users, and completion in time for a planned release vehicle.”

Currently dubbed 4.2a1pre, Mozilla’s Firefox 5 can be downloaded as a preview, with new updates released at regular intervals. However, “some of them might be disabled if it looks like they need more work,” reads the new draft Firefox release schedule.

Social networking-centric

Mozilla’s Firefox 5 will allow users to easily integrate their social networking accounts with the browser. With improved identity management, it will also enable users to sign in from multiple accounts.

Among other new features are an integrated PDF viewer and new customisable tabs, which will let users set up shortcuts to their frequently visited sites.

According to reports, Mozilla is looking to replace the Home button with a permanent Home Tab on its new web browser. It will also introduce colour-coded search engine tabs to help users identify which search engine they are searching on.

Browser war

Mozilla’s speedy development of its web browser comes amid challenges from several browser rivals, particularly Google Chrome, whose market share has gone up from 10.7 percent in January to 10.9 percent last month.

Another big rival is Microsoft Internet Explorer, which still secures the top position in the browser war with its market share rising to 56.8 percent at the end of February.

Its latest version – Internet Explorer 9 – has also been downloaded over 36 million times since the official launch in September 2010.

Despite a rapid growth since it first appeared in 2004, Firefox saw its slice of the browser market fall earlier this year, from 22.8 percent in January to 21.7 percent in February, according to market researcher Net Applications.

Pichayada Promchertchoo

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