The Mozilla Foundation has released an update to its popular Firefox browser which introduces the 'Lorentz' technology designed to keep the browser from crashing due to faulty plug-ins.

Firefox 3.6.4 Beta - available for immediate download - is the latest version of the current Firefox 3.6 tree, and will be rolled out to all users as a full release soon. Prior to that, however, Mozilla is asking willing participants to perform a little bit of testing - and, in turn, offering the chance of a sneak peak at a system designed to keep things ticking over in the event of a code crash.

Taking a leaf from Google's Chrome browser, the 'Lorentz' system built in to 3.6.4 runs each plug-in in its own dedicated 'sandbox' environment. In the not-unlikely event that a third-party plug-in - such as Adobe's Flash Player, Microsoft's Silverlight, or others - experiences issues and throws a wobbler, it means that the browser itself continues to run. For anyone who tends to have a large number of tabs open, it's likely to save a fair amount of time - and makes the whole crash experience a neater, tidier one.

The Lorentz technology has been available in beta form for a little while now, but the 3.6.4 Beta build represents the first time it has been integrated directly into a release tree - and offers a glimpse of how the technology will work when it is finally released to the general public.

Sadly for Mac users, Lorentz is currently only available on the Windows and Linux versions of Firefox.

Are you impressed to see Mozilla taking steps to keep the browser as crash-free as possible, or is Lorentz just a slavish copy of Google's Chrome? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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