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Firefox 5, facing stiff competition from Google

Firefox has had a strong following for many years, with many enthusiast users ditching Internet Explorer a long time ago for the foxy browser.

The latest Firefox 5 release is just around the corner and it has been available on the HTTP server for a few days already if you append the download link with the latest 5.0 number. With an official launch date of Tuesday, many people are waiting to see what it offers before upgrading.

V 4.0 was positively received by the public after the release at the end of March, it took 13 months for development. Surprisingly however it has lost some market share when compared to this time last year. If you have managed to snag V5.0 you will see that it basically looks the same as V4.0, that is because the GUI is the same. Mozilla had initially promised a new home tab, web app tabs and an improved new tab page, but these won’t make the release and are still under development for release in a later version of the software.

The Fox or the Chrome?

By checking out the release notes however, the list of new features is fairly extensive. There are also 1000 bug fixes which is just as important.

The latest version has enhanced support for HTML 5 which will give the end user speed benefits in JavaScript. Mozilla are also stepping up the development rate, and we should have Firefox 7 by Q4 this year. Firefox 7 will get an advanced 2D graphics API which is called Azure and this should really help boost the overall responsiveness of the application within a variety of situations.

Mozilla are facing tough competition in today’s market, especially from Google. Chrome 12 has over 18% of the market, over a single percent more than Firefox 4, according to analysis firm StatCounter. IE8 holds 27% of the market and many people are warming to the latest version of Internet Explorer which has many performance and interface improvements.

Google have been attacking many markets lately by ramping up their software development and Chrome could average over 20% market share in June. Many enthusiast users are saying that Chrome is faster and more stable than Firefox and due to the sandboxing technique it is actually also more secure. Of course opinions vary, with many of the leading browsers having some feature that appeals to a specific portion of the user base.

Kitguru says: Which browser hits the spot for you?

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