Mozilla prepares Firefox 3 for launch

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

San Jose (CA) – A new web page that popped up on Mozilla’s site today suggests that the launch of Mozilla 3 is imminent. The developers announced that they will soon be announcing the availability date of the software and are rallying users to take Firefox 3 into the Guinness Book of World Records – as the most downloaded software within 24 hours.

It appears that Mozilla’s expectation that no more serious bugs have been detected in the currently available release candidate of Firefox 3 and the software will be launched not within weeks, but within days. Mozilla is confident enough about Firefox 3 to have posted a “Download Day” web page which is basically a notification page for the availability of the browser. However, the developers ask users to submit a “pledge” make it the most downloaded software within 24 hours. At the time of this writing, the counter showed about 176,000 pledges, climbing by about 5000 every 20 minutes.

Mozilla did not release the download date of the browser, but noted that the date will be posted soon.

Firefox 3 introduces a version 1.9 of its core Gecko engine. Mozilla claims that Firefox 3.0 includes more than 14,000 changes over Firefox 2 and the new browser is, as of Firefox 3 beta 5, “the fastest Firefox ever”.

According to the original launch schedule, Firefox 3 arrives at least two quarters late. Developers had originally planned to introduce the browser in Q3 or Q4 of last year. The first alpha version of Firefox 3 was made public in December of 2006, the first beta followed almost a year later, in November 2007. The release candidate 1 was made available for download on May 15.

The first version of Firefox was launched in November of 2004 and was replaced with version 2.0 in October of 2006. According to Mozilla, the browser was downloaded from the organization’s site more than 563 million times since its introduction.

Microsoft is also developing a new version of its browser. The first beta of Internet Explorer 8 was released on March 5 of this year.

Read also: Firefox 3 Beta 4 reveals difference in design philosophy to IE8