Mozilla Corp. confirms Firefox 3 launch for June 17

Open-source proponent Mozilla Corporation has this week issued confirmation that the full and final release of its Firefox 3 Web browser will be made available for public download this coming Tuesday, June 17.

Mozilla has not yet divulged the exact arrival time of the latest version of its popular browser, but has promised somewhat of a party atmosphere for those involved in its development.

Specifically, Mozilla’s Mountain View, California headquarters are to be converted into “Camp Firefox,” which will play host to invited guests and employees as they celebrate the long-awaited completion of Firefox 3.

BetaNews reports that the partygoers will also be crossing their collective fingers in the hope that the browser’s opening 24-hours of availability sees it claim the Guinness World Record for becoming the world’s most downloaded piece of first-day software.

The official announcement follows close behind the confirmation of the browser’s Release Candidate 3 (RC3) test version, which is apparently identical to RC2 except for a slight Mac-related tweak that addresses a ‘hang’ bug in the browser that is connected to Apple’s recent 10.5.3 operating system upgrade.

Further to the slight Mac hiccup in Firefox 3’s total state of readiness, the development team has indicated that the browser is waiting in the wings for its unveiling on Windows and Linux-based platforms, while the RC3 release for Mac OS X is close to completion and should be available before the end of today. The extra RC for Mac systems is not expected to alter the final release date for Apple owners.

Expectations for Firefox 3 are high, with Mozilla Corp. looking to build on the steady market growth attributed to its browser. Existing as the most popular alternative to Microsoft’s hugely dominant Internet Explorer platform, which comes bundled as standard with the Windows operating system, Mozilla currently holds approximately 18 percent of the market share.

Further growth for Mozilla and Firefox is certainly possible based on initial critical feedback. For example, renowned Wall Street Journal technology reviewer Walt Mossberg has applauded Firefox 3 by saying that it has helped Mozilla to once again lead the browser market in terms of performance.

“My verdict is that Firefox 3.0 is the best Web browser out there right now, and that it tops the current versions of both [Microsoft] IE and [Apple] Safari in features, speed and security,” commented Mossberg. “It is easy to install and easy to use, even for a mainstream, non-technical user.”

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