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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

August - 2010 - issue > Tech Tracker

Firefox 4 Beta - The browser war just got deeper

Binu T Paul
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Binu T Paul
The browser war takes on a new high with the release of Mozilla’s Firefox 4 Beta. Why it caught on the radars of the tech tracker is because it edges out among the other recent releases. Apple released Safari 5 about a month ago at The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Opera introduced their browser version 10.6, Chrome keeps updating its beta versions and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 release is expected in the near future.

So what is new about Firefox4 Beta? Mozilla has really given it some appealing features which goes beyond the much talked about tab interface of Chrome. A new JavaScript engine, HTML5, tabs on top, and a new add-on framework are not the only improvements that users can expect in Firefox 4 but Mozilla boasts of a much more secure browser for users.

The full-on platform of extension gives Firefox an edge over Chrome and Safari due to their constrained API platform. The Firefox Jetpack SDK features an extensible library system that lets anyone create and share new APIs. Add-Ons can be installed and developed more easily with the JetPack SDK and js-ctypes. Firefox is also planning to do the baseline JIT with a new Javascript engine to compete the similar initiation of Chrome.

‘Speed’ has always been an important component of browser wars. In an effort to survive the battle, the new Firefox 4 is 27 percent faster than Firefox 3.6.6. However, the JavaScript benchmarks show that it is slower than Apple Safari, Google Chrome and Opera.

The usage share of web browsers as of May 2010 shows Internet Explorer on top with 50.53 percent (usage by version number), Mozilla Firefox 31.26 percent (usage by version number), Google Chrome 7.72 percent, Safari 5.15 percent, Opera 1.98 percent and Other 1.30 percent.


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