Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 is Mozilla’s latest update for its browser. The emphasis on improved speed and performance is key for Firefox’s recent release, which is now available for download. But why? Competition from the likes of Google Chrome is the culprit, according to ReadWriteWeb. As Google is the new kid on the block when it comes to browsers, the prowess of Google as a company alone has likely caught the attention of Mozilla.
Along with the speed updates, however, Firefox 3.6 will also have some improvements on the alert side of things. Users will now be alerted to add-on updates, making it easier to keep up with the newest rendition of a particular browser add-on. Keeping abreast on browser add-ons is necessary maintenance for Firefox users, and especially relevant for their browser experience, as many security issues can occur as a result of enabled/disabled/newly installed add-ons.
Both speed performance and add-ons are relevant to browser evolution as they become more socially aware. Our mobile devices, third party applications, social networks and popular free email services have become increasingly compatible with each other. Browsers are still part of this conglomerate, and can actually aid in driving socially aware applications forward. This is due to increases in media-sharing, growing access to the web and general improvement of a widespread, consumer technology.
While the browser itself hasn’t been completely revamped in years, there’s a growing interest in utilizing browsers as conduits for social communication. Acting as a transitioning hub for a good portion of our web activity (both private and social), the browser is highly personal and will be more mobile in coming years. That being said, it’s clear that Google has these considerations in mind as it looks to every possible outlet for connecting its services with consumers. That kind of presence means that Google Chrome and all its other Google Apps could eventually infringe on Mozilla’s market share. As Google Chrome has also updated its speed performance in this past year, Mozilla has to ensure that it maintains a competitive level with Google’s browser initiatives. Additionally, Firefox’s speed has hit a few speed bumps in the past few months, highlighting the company’s need to refocus on load time.
In accordance with a move to improve the social nature of web browsers, Marc Andreessen apparently is backing a revolutionary new web browser called RockMelt which is expected to change the way we think about traditional web browsers. While this upcoming product has yet to reveal itself, it marks an important new direction for browser technology and provides further incentive for browsers like Firefox to continue making improvements through frequent updates.
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