Firefox 2 Beta 1 Bows
The Mozilla Foundation began shipping Beta 1 of Firefox 2.0 this week, just
days after a leading Web analytics firm reported the open source browser and
its close relations have gained another 2 percentage points on Internet Explorer.
Version 2 adds phishing protection, the ability to re-open accidentally closed
tabs, and improved support for previewing and subscribing to Web feeds, as well
as inline spell checking within text boxes. It also features a search plug-in
1.7, "microsummaries" for bookmarks, and a new scriptable Windows
The built anti-phishing capability warns users when they come across Web forgeries,
and offers to return the user to his or her home page. Meanwhile, microsummaries
are regularly updated summaries of Web pages, small enough to fit in the space
available to a bookmark label, but large enough to provide more useful information
about pages than static page titles, and are regularly updated as new information
Amsterdam-based Web analytics firm OneStat said in its report for June that
share of the browser market fell to 83 percent globally. Meanwhile, the
various Mozilla browsers and their brethren rose to nearly 13 percent.
Because it's a Beta 1 product, the release notes say, it is intended
for "testing purposes only," according to statements on Mozilla.org.
"Firefox 2 Beta 1 is intended for Web application developers and our testing
community. Current users of Mozilla Firefox 1.x should not use Firefox 2 Beta
1 and expect all of their extensions and plug-ins to work properly," the
Interested parties can get the beta here.
Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.