Get ready Firefox fans, because Firefox 4 is on the way. PCWorld writes that the next version of the second most popular browser worldwide is "nearly ready for release" and should be available starting next month.
Mozilla's senior director, Damon Sicore, wrote on a developer mailing list that "We have to reach Release Candidate status as quickly as possible" but until the launch "we need *everyone* to help in testing."
Mozilla had planned to ship the latest version of its popular browser by November, 2010, but too many bugs remained to release a final candidate. According to Sicore, Flash, Silverlight and "other major plug-ins" were continuing to cause problems, with users "affected by hardware acceleration causing crashes or other issues." According to PCWorld, Sicore said that "about 160 'hard blockers'--or significant bugs--remain in the project."
Hardware acceleration is one of the key features boasted by Microsoft to boost Internet Explorer 9 ahead of other browsers. Currently, Firefox is second in popularity worldwide only to Internet Explorer, with Chrome and Safari following behind.
For a full look at what to expect in the latest version of Firefox, take a look at this in-depth review from Make Tech Easier, earlier this year. The long and short of it is that the next version will be faster, sleeker, with "do not track" capabilities to enhance user privacy.
If you want to help Firefox along, you can take part in beta testing the product by downloading the latest version and reporting any bugs you come across.
I have been a Firefox fan for quite some time and have been on the beta for months now, yet I still have Chrome as my default browser due to some of the early bugs that hopefully Mozilla has addressed. What do you think? Will you try out Firefox 4? Is that your browser of choice or will Chrome keep your attention? Or has IE9 brought you back to the Microsoft side?