Firefox 6, Mozilla's latest web browser, hits the web today only 12 weeks after its predecessor.
The rate of quick releases is not surprising as the company looks to keep up with Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Google's Chrome. Firefox holds 21.5 percent of browser market share according to StatCounter; this trails IE (52.7 percent) and leads Chrome (13.5 percent) - but the latter has made up ground on the former two over the past year.
The company said Firefox 4, which was released in March of this year, had more than 200 million downloads on Windows, Mac and Linux and millions of downloads in the Android Market. The numbers haven't yet been released on Firefox 5, but one may expect slightly lower numbers since the interval between Firefox 4 and 5 was greater than the one between Firefox 5 and 6.
To top Firefox 5, Mozilla has come out with a number of features for Firefox 6 that will make it stand out from Internet Explorer 9 and the latest version of Chrome. However, overall there aren't a ton of changes from the lastt version. Here are five things to know about the new Firefox.
- More for web developers: Taking a page out of the Google mobile Android strategy, it seems Mozilla will be focusing more on developers. Firefox comes with new and enhanced tools to make "developing for the Web faster and easier," according to Mozilla. There's additional support for APIs in the new Firefox and a "Web Developer" menu.
- HTML5 Support: This is not shocking - HTML5 is the future that all developers and tech companies are eyeing. Just recently Adobe previewed Edge, a product that allows developers to work on HTML5 web motion and interaction design tools. It only makes sense to make more HTML5 support for this version of Firefox.
- More Security: Building off the addition of Do Not Track in Firefox 5, Mozilla has set up a preferences pane that allows users to set site-specific security and privacy preferences.
- Faster Start Up/Syncing: Firefox 6 allows users to snyc certain things - like passwords and bookmarks - across multiple devices. There's also faster loading times for users of Firefox's Panorama tab groups.
- No Facelift: Unlike some updates in the past from one Mozilla version to the next, this one does not include a huge face lift. In fact, to the unseen eye, Mozilla Firefox 5 looks almost identical to Mozilla Firefox 6. The biggest difference is URL highlighting, which like Chrome and IE, puts the domain name in the address bar in a darker font than the rest of the page's address.
To download Mozilla Firefox 6: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/new/