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Firefox Responds to Google Chrome

The Web browser market leader is Microsoft Internet Explorer. However, Mozilla Firefox has taken market share from IE in recent years.

The launch of Google Chrome has excited users for its simplicity and new privacy mode features. It is another indication that further IE market share is in the taking.

Mozilla announced that Firefox version 3.1 will also include a new Private Browsing Mode feature. This feature prevents Web site visits from being logged. The feature also discards any active cookies.

Firefox development has been testing the new feature for more than four years. Moreover, Apple plans to include private browsing in its next release of Safari. Microsoft also announced a new similar feature for Internet Explorer 8 beta 2.

The trend has gone from Web Internet security concerns to “Private Browsing” based on the list of features coming for the next release showdowns.

While a Private Mode feature is popular, most browsers load cookies into memory to make Web sites load faster. Another concern is that cookies can still be tracked in memory after enabling the Private Mode feature.

This is one of the reasons Firefox has not implemented its privacy mode. Firefox uses a rendering engine called Gecko. Safari and Chrome use the WebKit engine. Gecko has a few architectural issues in using a privacy block mode feature.

However, Mozilla is adding the feature after some work-arounds. They did warn that full feature-based competition between browser makers could eventually create features that do not become useful in the long run.

When Firefox 3 released, Mozilla didn’t see the need. They focused on important issues such as addressing bugs.

Firefox 3.1 will be released later this month.