Firefox 4 Beta… Goodness have they made it fast!

I upgraded to Firefox 4.0b2 a couple of days ago. The only thing wrong, for me, about the older Firefox 3.6.x was that it took too long to load, especially relative to Opera 10. With this new installment, Mozilla have taken the loading time of the 3.6 and beaten it to a pulp. The install I have on this Core 2 Duo machine loads consistently in 3-4 seconds. This may, of course, be because none of the addons I had on v3.6 work with 4.0b2, but I’d like to think it’s actual improvement. The introduction of the app-tab feature isn’t bad either.

I remember reading that Firefox 3 is already the most used browser in Europe, beating out IE6. Opera has a share of about 10%. With the improvements made in 4.0, I think this situation is only going to get better. And very soon (before the end of the year, if I remember right).

And, by the way, if you are going to upgrade to the beta, you should remember that although the install directories are different, 4.0b2 uses the same profiles and application data as 3.6. Which means that if, like me, you don’t want two installations of Firefox on your machine and you decide to uninstall 3.6, you should remember not to check the ‘Delete User Profiles and Personal Information‘ box during the uninstall. You’ll just end up having to reinstall all your addons (not right away, though. none of them work now), relocate all your bookmarks, re-enter all your passwords and so forth. Stupid, stupid, Croor!

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Update: Mozilla is looking for feedback… “from women, non-techies and people who spend less time online, like baristas, elephant trainers, teachers, surfers or acupuncturists…” Upgrade to the beta version today, and click on the feedback icon at the top right!

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