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Firefox Friday Five (3.6!!!)

Phew! What a week for the Firefox!

With this flurry of activity things, you'd expect things to calm down for a little... but no! Mozilla will try to capitalize on their new fleet-footed approach to updates and minor revisions. With Chrome now barking at its heels and Microsoft's IE9 likely to arrive this year, it's never been more important for Firefox to keep its lead.

Let's start with the best one:

1. Government warnings about Internet Explorer cause massive influx of Firefox downloads

Lee, like the great impartial reporter that he is, pointed out that there were lots of Firefox and Opera downloads -- but as always when talking about Opera, it's on the same scale as a tiny, uninhabited Pacific island, so let's just go with the Firefox statistic.

Basically, the governments of Germany, France and Australia told its citizens to dump Internet Explorer... and that's what they did! From Firefox's usual 50,000 downloads a day, they spiked up to 200,000!

(It's worth noting that IE has now been patched and is safe again... but for how long?!)

2. Firefox 3.6 released. The crowd goes wild.

I really doubt, being a loyal Download Squad reader, that you could've missed this small tidbit of news. Firefox 3.6 is now available, along with built-in Personas (themes/skins) support.

It's a lot faster, a lot more stable, and the basis for some other neat things that are due out in the next few months -- such as 'content processes'! Download it already.

3. Change tabs more gracefully (in Firefox 3.6!)

If you like those 'aero peek' icons when you Alt-Tab in Windows 7, you'll love this neat little feature that made it into Firefox 3.6.

You can now enable 'visual tab previews' when you use Ctrl-Tab. Assuming you have more than two tabs open, you'll get one of those pretty jump menus showing you the contents of each tab. Definitely beats tabbing into an old tab and waiting 30 seconds for it to be recovered from the page file...

To enable, visit 'about:config' in your address bar, and then search for ctrlTab -- double click browser.ctrlTab.previews until it's set to true.

I'm told it works just fine on Macs too!

4. I compiled a list of 'nefarious content' Firefox add-ons
This was actually meant to go out last night, but due to a technical issue it got re-published earlier today. I don't want to give this feature any more attention than it deserves -- especially not during daytime hours when kids might be reading! -- but give it a read if you're an adult, and you, er... surf the Internet.

5. Jay's Hottest Firefox Personas

To celebrate the release of Firefox 3.6 and the built-in support for its great, new skinning system Personas, Jay compiled a list of his favourites.

With over 35,000 themes, Personas has definitely taken off in a big way! Personally, I don't see why anyone would want some kind of image behind their web browser's menus, but I guess some people do.

Most of those 35,000 skins are pretty ugly too -- so I'd suggest you start with Jay's list, rather than dive into the Personas website itself.

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Did I miss anything exciting? Feel free to chime in!

Tags: add-on, firefox, firefox 3.6, Firefox3.6, personas, round-up, tabs