Reuters is reporting that Firefox 3 is ready for the masses. Firefox 3 is now in its Beta 4 stage, and the company is ready for you—the average Web user—to try it out. We reviewed the second beta version of Firefox 3 a few months ago and felt that the open-source browser was almost there. At this point we can safely say Firefox has just about reached its final destination. I have been surfing for the last two hours using the latest version, and it has been a pleasure getting acquainted. The download was pain-free and when I launched the new browser all my bookmarks and settings were ported over, including my StumbleUpon and Fasterfox extensions. The only difference with my surfing experience was the improved interface. I like the new forward and back buttons on the top navigation bar; the blue seems to lighten up the page and even matches my Vista OS. Also a nice addition is the button to the left of the address bar that lets you view the security settings of the site you are visiting.
One of the new features is that when you start typing in the location bar it will search your bookmarks and history in a scroll-down menu. Firefox says it will adapt and learn as I use it, but honestly I don’t really like the scroll down bar covering half of the page I am on. Has anyone figured out how to turn this function off? The download manager has also been given a makeover. You can now pause and resume downloads and also search through them with the small search field in the bottom right corner of the window. Mozilla claims Firefox 3 uses less computer memory than Firefox 2. On a Sony VAIO running Vista it was taking up 98MB. That isn’t a huge drop in what it usually takes up, however. In addition, Web surfing is fast but not much faster than IE7. It took both browsers about 3 seconds to load Nike.com’s flash-heavy site. Will you download Firefox’s beta version? Let us know what you think and if you hit any walls in your surfing experience.