Firefox 3 Beta 1 available

Written by Phil Cogar

November 23, 2007 // 1:56 p.m.

Tags: #beta-1 #browser #firefox-3 #internet #mozilla

If you didn't know already, Firefox 3 beta 1 is now available for developers, testers, and anyone else who feels like downloading it. While it is still just a beta, it is already getting reviews all across the web. So just what are people saying about the latest build?

Wired noted that Firefox 3 brings noticeably faster pages loads and managed to stay below 60MB of memory usage. That's a huge improvement from the 80 to several hundred MB memory footprint that Firefox 2 takes up. When the browser was running in the background, it completely disappeared from their CPU usage monitor - but keep in mind that they were running the beta on an Intel Mac with Mac OS X Leopard.

Ars Technica was impressed with the large amount of new features in the web browser. One of the new features that Ars seems to really love is the Places system. Places is a new way of storing your bookmarks and history information. Users have the ability to now tag bookmarks and also search all places websites in specific ways. One way would be to search your bookmarks by a minimum number of visits.

There is a lot more to Places than that. In fact, there are simply too many features and capabilities in Places for me to cover alone, so I'm going to direct you over to the Mozilla Wiki for more info.

iTWire also had good things to say about the performance of the browser. Stan Beer simply wanted to pen a light review of the browser, but has ended up not opening Firefox 2 since. He noticed an improvement to page loads, just as Wired had, and liked that Mozilla didn't change the interface much. Keeps things simpler, y'see?

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes from over at ZDNet did a memory comparison to Firefox 2.0.0.9 and found that, under greater loads, Firefox 3 kept a much smaller memory footprint than 2.0.0.9. Just out of curiosity, he loaded up Internet Explorer 7 to the same web pages he used in the test and found that it used more memory than Firefox 3.

So, needless to say, it is looking really good for Firefox fans. It seems that just about everyone who has used the beta has noticed a page load speed increase along with a smaller system footprint. If you're wanting to give it a test, just make sure you back up your current configurations. After all, this is still a beta and could still wipe out all of your precious browser data.

Have you installed Firefox 3 already? What are your thoughts on it? Tell us your impressions over in the forums.

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