Chicago (IL) - Mozilla has released the first comprehensive feature list and roadmap for its Firefox web browser. The organization currently considers up to 50 updates and new features for Firefox and intends to make the software available within this year.
Some users may be a bit confused by the news that Mozilla is already talking about details of Firefox 3. In the past we were used to much longer upgrade cycles for web browser - Microsoft for example took more than six years to go from Internet Explorer 6 to seven and there you have Firefox 2.0, just about three months old, which may be replaced soon.
According to Mozilla, Firefox 3.0 could be released in Q3 or Q4 of this year, with Firefox 4.0 following in 2008. However, the organization concedes that the Mozilla 2 platform will take about two years to stabilize, which indicates that Firefox 3.0 will be a major release but more of an upgrade to Firefox 2.0, while Firefox 4.0 could become a more dramatic new release.
The current Firefox agenda highlights 50 possible new features and updates, which are divided into eleven mandatory features which will be included into the software in any case, 27 "highly desirable" features as well as twelve "desirable" features. The mandatory features focus on core functionality of the browser and not so much on an added feature set. Included in this list are items such as improved add-on management and installation, a new graphical interface for application integration, enhanced printing functionality, private browsing capability and a revised password manager.
Features that actually may be more obvious to the enduser are mainly covered in the desirable feature lists and cover a possible new bookmark manager, malware protection form content management, the ability to take snapshots of webpages and enhancements to tabbed browsing.