Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Firefox moves Test Builds to 3.2 Alpha - UPDATE Version 3.1 Beta 2 now posted

Despite the recent 'invasion' (in the browser) field by Google's Chrome a few months ago, Mozilla is still developing Firefox at a rapid pace.

The publicly available Firefox 3.1 Beta 1 recently went into 'code freeze' and add-on developers were urged to get their extensions ready.  Beta 2 builds have quietly been moved to a new location at Mozilla's FTP site (in a host of languages).  The Beta 2 release, originally scheduled for Mid-November was delayed due to 17 (+/-) bugs that the team has been working on.

Is Mozilla about to unleash the latest version of Firefox?

Firefox Beta 2 (or possibly a Final Release?) is due sometime this week.

Beta versions of Firefox are tested in what Mozilla calls the 'Minefield'.  In fact, nightly test downloads carry the Minefield (not Firefox) label.

The nightly builds have now moved to 3.2 Alpha 1. In fact, there are already next generation nightly builds now posted at the Minefield ftp site for Windows, MAC, and Linux.

Our guess is Mozilla is simply waiting for the 'most used' extensions to get on board with the new 3.1 version  and then .... well .... new (FREE) browser .... just in time for the holidays.

3.1 sports a variety of new features and improvements.

The latest 3.1 'Official" Firefox Beta can be downloaded here. (As always, beta software should not be used on a mission-critical computer).

In other browser news, Google's Chrome recently went to version (Just click 'the little wrench' and then 'about Google Chrome' to be auto-updated).  It's also noteworthy that Apple is now simply stamping Safari with 'Version 3.2' but also recently released a minor upgrade for both Windows and MAC.

Is Microsoft's Internet Explorer being challenged?  In the tech / blogger world, there's simply no doubt about it.  In the enterprise?  Time will tell :)

Update: The latest stable (public) version of Firefox can be downloaded here.

Update: Dec 8, 2008  Mozilla moved the 3.1 to Beta 2 today.  Release notes are here.