Firefox denied an absolute monopoly of Internet Explorer in the browser market with it’s cool set of features.
With a strong community, firefox often sets new standards and other browsers, especially IE are playing catchup with it.
Firefox became extremely popular because of concepts called “tabbed browsing”, multitude of plugins (which are quite safe), popup blocker (i think microsoft introduced this in IE only in windows xp service pack 2) etc, etc..
Now firefox has matured a lot and is marching proudly towards it’s third release.
Firefox Beta 3 has been released and if you want to try it, grab it from here.
One of the major complaints about firefox nowadays is that it’s not fast enough like it use to be in early days. One of the goals of Firefox 3 looks like improving the performance.
Some of the new features in Firefox 3 which got my attention are:
– Speed: Major architectural changes (such as the move to Cairo and a rewrite to how reflowing a page layout works) put foundations in place for major performance tuning which have resulted in speed increases that continue to increase page drawing speed in Beta 3.
– Easier password management: an information bar replaces the old password dialog so you can now save passwords after a successful login.
– Secure add-on updates: to improve add-on update security, add-ons that provide updates in an insecure manner will be disabled.
– Resumable downloading: users can now resume downloads after restarting the browser or resetting your network connection.
– Web-based protocol handlers: web applications, such as your favorite webmail provider, can now be used instead of desktop applications for handling mailto: links from other sites.
The complete list of new features can be found here.