No, you aren't crazy, Firefox 4 did just launch a week ago.
Mozilla is borrowing a page from Google Chrome and speeding up the development cycle for Firefox releases, setting new iterations of the browser for fixed time periods and bulldozing over features that just aren't ready to make it into a new browser release.
And if Mozilla sticks by its newly proposed plan, that means that we'll be seeing Firefox 5 on June 21—following a shortened 13-week development cycle instead of the proposed 18-week cycle for all future Firefox builds.
Within this 18-week cycle comes a new development stage that adds on to Mozilla's three previous update channels: Nightly, or builds created from the mozilla-central-repository that are highly unstable, but incorporate the latest texts and fixes; Beta, which ups the quality demands of features and tweaks added via the nightly builds; and Release, which becomes the version of Firefox that most consumers are used to using.
Mozilla's new stage, Aurora, will be a nightly update that splits the difference between the chaos of the company's Mozilla-central build (or Nightly build), and its Beta build.
Mozilla's popular open-source, community-developed browser has been updated to Firefox 4.0 today. Users can now download the significantly overhauled software in 75 languages from www.firefox.com. Versions are available for Windows (including the popular XP, shunned by the also-new Internet Explorer 9), Mac OS, and Linux.
The new browser version was announced on the Mozilla blog in a post lengthily titled "Mozilla Launches Firefox 4 and Delivers a Fast, Sleek and Customizable Browsing Experience to More Than 400 Million Users Worldwide."
The browser that pushed Internet Explorer to stop resting on its laurels after years of stagnation has now been pushed by Google's newer Chrome browser to do just the same. Not that Firefox had been stagnating the way that IE had been before the Mozilla browser's debut. But Chrome has served as inspiration for the new version of Firefox in more ways than one—improved speed and a simplified interface are standout examples of this.
Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla, commented, "Mozilla is very proud of Firefox 4, created by our community of thousands of volunteers worldwide. It truly is the browser for tomorrow's Web. The Internet has become the most important connection mechanism in our society, which is why we've focused on making users' Web experience as fast, modern, safe and intuitive as possible."
Mozilla on Wednesday released the Firefox 4 release candidate, the final update before the company formally unveils its next-generation browser.
Those who have been testing Firefox 4 will be automatically upgraded to the RC. Mozilla said it has fixed more than 8,000 bugs since the first beta release of Firefox 4, but encouraged RC users to test this latest release as well and provide feedback.
Mozilla executives expect the final Firefox 4 to be released later this month.
Mozilla has streamlined the user interface, collapsing the full menu bar into a small "Firefox" drop-down option on the top left. The tabs are front and center, with the URL and search bars underneath.
Mozilla has finally released the first Firefox 4 beta, and you can download it now. Firefox 4 is a major step up from the previous version, with a redesign of the user interface, greatly improved HTML5 support, hardware-accelerated HD video playback, better add-on support, and a bunch of other new features. Luckily, the Mozilla team has pulled everything together in a blog post to fill you in on all the fun. With Google Chrome gaining on Firefox marketshare, you can bet Mozilla is gonna be pushing the new hotness found in 4.0 hard. You can download Firefox 4 beta 1 now.
© Gear Live Inc. – User-posted content, unless source is quoted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License. Gear Live graphics, logos, designs, page headers, button icons, videos, articles, blogs, forums, scripts and other service names are the trademarks of Gear Live Inc.