FireFox 3 beta 4 out

I’m actually using the nightly pre-releases of beta 5 at the moment (very stable anyway), but beta 4 is excellent. It’s markedly faster than beta 3, and more importantly, than FireFox 2, at all sorts of things such as tables (which was an issue in FF2) and JavaScript in general. Lots of nice new features in it as well as a proper Vista-esque theme built in now. Memory usage is also much lower – startup takes up 63MB which is quite reasonable (certainly much better than 96MB as in beta 2) and not much more than IE7 which takes up around 40MB (these figures are coming from the Process – Memory Usage gadget for Vista) – but then again IE is so closely integrated into Vista it’s not entirely a fair test. Plus I also have a number of extensions running in FF.

I’d definitely recommend FF3, even in it beta form, over FireFox 2, unless you have a particular extension which isn’t yet FF3 compatible. If you’re still using IE7 – try out FF3, you’ll be pleasantly surprised – I do still use IE7 for the occasional page which uses ActiveX but to be honest it’s becoming very rare these days. Silverlight also doesn’t work in FF3 – not sure why – and Live Spaces edit mode doesn’t work properly, I assume because Live Spaces doesn’t realise what FF3 is.


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