Firefox 5 is the Fastest Firefox Ever

Three months ago, Mozilla released Firefox 4. Today, Mozilla released Firefox 5, touted as the fastest Firefox ever. The quick release of Firefox is a direct result of the stiff competition from other browsers, namely Google Chrome and Internet Explorer to gain market share. Here’s an excerpt of the Firefox 5 release from Datamation.com.

Firefox 5 includes new performance, standards and privacy improvements as well as improving the overall stability of the browser for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android users.

“Firefox 5 is the fastest Firefox ever, and also the fastest ever to market,” Johnathan Nightingale, Director of Firefox at Mozilla told InternetNews.com. “Our new rapid release cycle means that the improvements get into users hands more quickly. The latest version of Firefox includes more than 1,000 improvements and performance enhancements that make it easier to discover and use all of the innovative features in Firefox. ”

Among the changes is improved visibility for Mozilla’s Do Not Track implementation. With Firefox 5, users can now use an interface item to select whether or not they want websites to track them. Firefox has been supporting a Do Not Track implementation since the Firefox 4 release, though with Firefox 5 it is now user visible. Firefox’s Do Not Track is a simple binary expression  — when enabled, it sends an HTTP header that says, DNT=1, which means: “do not track me.”

Download Firefox 5.

Could Chrome Replace Firefox in Ubuntu

Reports have been confirmed that Firefox performance in Linux is considerably slower than in Windows or the Mac. So, why is Firefox performance slow in Linux? It seems to be a matter of priority. Less priority that is. Firefox developers have been focused on Windows, addressing issues where the majority of Firefox users are based.

Mozilla seemed to place less emphasis on Linux development. Mozilla is aware of these issues and are trying to fix them. Potentially, Canonical can replace Firefox with Chrome if performance continuous to be perceived as slow. Mozilla can potentially lose millions of dollars if this were to happen.

Mozilla receives millions of dollars from Google for making Google Search the default search engine for Firefox in Ubuntu. The growth of Firefox have slowed down considerably as Chrome continues to eat away the browser market share. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chrome becomes the default browser in the future, not only because of performance, but because it makes perfect sense.

After all, the Chrome browser is the centerpiece of the Chrome OS.

Firefox Losing Its Grip

Several weeks ago, I declared switching to Chrome on my PC and Linux desktops due to one thing, the speed of the Chrome browser was unmatched. Yesterday, I read an article stating that Chrome outgrew Firefox, IE and any other browser in the market, jumping 9% from usage in just last month.

If that’s not an indication that Firefox is losing its grip, wait until you read today’s article about Chrome, now being the number one browser used by Digg users who visit the site. When techies no longer use Firefox, it’s all the more reason to believe that Chrome has won the hearts of techies.

But wait, don’t abandon Firefox just yet. Mozilla will soon release Firefox 4 sometime in 2011. Will Firefox regain its luster?

Moving To Google Chrome

I’m a big fan of Mozilla Firefox, but I finally have made the decision to use Google Chrome as my default browser. I did it for just one reason. Speed. Everything just seems faster in Chrome. It’s just not my perception either.  Benchmarks after benchmarks have indicated that Chrome is the just fastest browser in the planet.

So, when Mozilla came out today with Firefox 4 Beta 7, I was a bit hopeful, but my hope was quickly dashed when it reported that Firefox 4 is still slower than Chrome. Don’t get me wrong, Firefox 4 is still considerably faster than it’s current offering, but just not fast enough compared to the current Chome release.

To help me with my decision, I was able to download my favorite plugin called Web Developer Tools to work in Google Chrome. I love this plugin. If you’re a web developer, it’s a must have. Unless something dramatic changes in the browser world, I’ll be on Google Chrome for a while.

Use Caution When Acessing A Public Network

There is an ad-on for Mozilla Firefox called FireSheep, which allow others to snoop on other people’s account in a public network. Users in networks such as hotels, airports and Starbucks are vulnerable when accessing their email, social networks and online banking.

This is all the more reason to be wary when accessing public networks. Online banking is definitely a no-no. Perhaps now, accessing your email or any of the social networks is also off the table.

If you must use a public network, use VPN to protect yourself from Firesheep. You can use your office VPN if you happen to have one. The other option is to use your home router, if you happen to have a router that supports VPN.

Firefox 4 Beta for Android Phones

Mozilla just released Firefox 4 Beta for Android phones. This is awesome news for Firefox admirers. Firefox 4 will be available for download on any Android 2.0 or newer based smart phone and the Nokia N900. From Yahoo/PC World:

The beta versions include a feature called Sync, which synchronizes a user’s tabs, history, bookmarks and passwords between the Firefox browser on a desktop PC and that on the smartphone. The browser also comes with what Mozilla calls the Awesome Screen, which gives the user access to recent browsing history, bookmarks and tabs by tapping on the browser’s address bar. The start screen shows tabs from the last time the user accessed the Internet, tabs from the PC and suggests add-ons to the browser to personalize it.

Firefox for mobile is available for the Nokia N900, or for phones running Android 2.0 or newer. It has been tested on the Nexus One, HTC’s Desire and EVO 4G, and Motorola’s Droid 2. The browser should work on other Android-based smartphones from Motorola and HTC, as well, including the Desire Z (T-Mobile G2), Droid Incredible, Droid X and the Milestone (Verizon Droid), but hasn’t been tested on these devices. The Samsung Galaxy S, and its various different U.S. versions, is also included in the latter group, according to a list of compatible phones on Mozilla’s Website.

To improve speed and responsiveness, the browser runs the user interface in a separate process from the one rendering Web content. The split allows Firefox to react faster to user input while pages are loading, according to Mozilla.

Firefox 4 Promises To Be Fast

Mozilla promises to have a “super-duper fast” browser when Firefox 4 surfaces sometime in October 2010. Mozilla Firefox faces tough competition from the lightning-speed Google Chrome, who have been outpacing all competition in terms of browser market share.

To reverse the market slide, Mozilla Firefox 4 will need to match Chrome’s speed and offer a few more enhancements. Support for HTML5, 64-bit computing, a sleeker and a simpler interface will certainly help. Mozilla will also add dedicated application tabs and the ability to install add-ons without restarting the browser.

Beta releases of Firefox 4 will be available sometime next month. An October release is still five months away and Mozilla does not guarantee it will meet the release date. Firefox 4 release date can possibly slip by a month or two.

In the meantime, Google Chrome will continue eat away the browser market share. Experts are saying Firefox 4 is market-neutral meaning it will probably not have any lasting impact to the market share when released.

Ubuntu Reverts to Google Search

It was announced in January that Ubuntu will be switching to Yahoo Search as the default search engine in its Mozilla Firefox browser. It didn’t take long for Ubuntu to reconsider. Just a little over two months later, Google is back as the default Search engine. So, why the switch back? According to the H:

That deal appears to be off with Rick Spencer, Engineering Manager for the Ubuntu Desktop Team announcing last night that Ubuntu 10.04 LTS would switch back to Google as default search after considering factors such as “user experience, user preferences, and costs and benefits for Ubuntu and the browsers and other projects that make up Ubuntu”.

Specific reasons for the change back were not given, but Spencer added “It was not our intention to ‘flap’ between providers, but the underlying circumstances can change unpredictably”. The change in development versions of Ubuntu 10.04 will be reverted “as soon as reasonably possible”; the final freeze of the code for 10.04 happens on April 15th.

It’s hard to play second fiddle. Most people prefer Google Search over Yahoo Search anyway.

Firefox Nears 25 Percent of the Market

From Linux Journal:

Firefox, which has been growing steadily over the past several years, gained more than a quarter of a percentage point in March — a figure that may seem small, but considering the billion-plus users of the internet, represents millions of additional users. That increase brings Firefox’s share to 24.52%, within a mere half a percent of controlling one-fourth of the global browser market.

Since April 2008 (the earliest statistics available from Net Applications), Internet Explorer has lost nearly 20% of the market, dropping from over three-quarters in 2008 to well under two-thirds today.

Firefox 3.6 is 20 Percent Faster

I just upgraded to Firefox 3.6. I usually wait until the Firefox browser tells me to update to the latest version. I can’t wait any longer, so I decided to force a new update. After a few minutes I was running Firefox 3.6. It’s supposed to be 20% faster than its predecessor, Firefox 3.5. Check out the features and a post from the Mozilla blog, which by the way is running on WordPress.

I’m really curious about Personas. 35,000 designs? Let me try one. I just did. Whoa! Nice. No restart required! This alone was worth the upgrade, plus the 20% speed enhancement. Update now, folks.