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Firefox 3 Beta 4 Released for Windows, Vista, Linux and Mac

Mozilla says that there are over 900 bug fixes in this beta alone and has released Firefox version 3, Beta 4. The new version of its web browser also has some minor cosmetic changes, depending on whether you’re using Windows XP, Vista, Linux or Mac.

Firefox 3 Beta 4 includes drastic improvements to performance and memory usage, as well as fixes for stability, platform enhancements and user interface improvements. Many of the advances were based on community feedback.

As we loaded Firebox 3 Beta 4 for the first time, we noticed the performance right off the bat. Browsing and/or surfing to web sites seem faster which is why I was personally using Apple Safari up until this beta.

I also do not have the crashing problem I had with the previous version, something that doesn’t happen to every computer, but whenever I closed a tab while opening a new one, my Firefox would disappear. This is no longer the case when using the latest release.

The memory improvements in Beta 4 might come by way of the XPCOM (Cross Platform Component Object Mode) cycle collector that identifies objects that aren’t being used and releases them from memory. XPCOM was first deployed as part of the Firefox 3 Beta 1 release in November.

Mozilla has planned for at least one more Beta (Beta 5) before Firefox 3 will hit the release candidate stage. It’s not yet clear how many release candidate there might be or how long it will actually be untill Firefox 3 is official.

This update was better than my experience with Internet Explorer 8. IE 8 still crashes on me and there appears to be memory leaks. If you open 5 tabs in IE’s browser and let it sit for a period of an hour, check the task manager. You will see IE using over 1 Gig of memory.