Improvements galore in Beta 1 of Firefox 4 browser

Lots of new features ready for testing. Image: Mozilla.

Pushing its open-source Firefox browser to further heights, Mozilla Corp. has this week offered up Firefox 4 Beta 1, an early release of Firefox 4 that comes complete with “dozens of major features and improvements” for first-run public testing.

Described as being more than just a facelift, new features packaged in the beta include:

New Add-Ons Manager: gives you more space to manage your Add-Ons, Themes and Plugins. Customizing your browser has never been easier!

HD Video: Watch hardware-accelerated, super-smooth, HD-quality HTML5 video on YouTube using the new WebM format.

Privacy Improvements: Mozilla always puts privacy first, and this latest beta fixes flaws in some Web standards that could expose your browser history.

Crash Protection: Experience uninterrupted browsing (now available on all platforms) – when a plugin crashes or freezes, you can resume browsing by simply refreshing the page.

Performance: We know that performance is important. In this version, we focused on improving responsiveness at start-up and during page loads. This is just the beginning for performance improvements in Firefox 4.

Beyond general use, Mozilla has also added changes for the development community, these elements include a HTML5 Parser, WebSockets, IndexedDB, Web Console, and Simpler Add-On Development.

Keen to gather as much user feedback as it can for Firefox 4, the beta comes complete with a new Feedback Add-On that enables the delivery of quick and easy comments.

Mozilla has said more features will be introduced in upcoming releases, with new beta versions of the browser expected “every two to three weeks.”

Firefox 4 Beta 1 is presently only available on Windows-powered PCs. However, a version for Mac and Linux will be available soon.

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