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Firefox 3.7 will become 4.0 -- Firefox 4, with updated Gecko, confirmed for later this year

Speaking at Air Mozilla yesterday, Firefox's lead developer Mike Beltzner confirmed what we've all been hopefully expecting: the latest Firefox beta, with its faster startup and shutdown times, more stability and better security, will become Firefox 3.6.4. Once 3.6.4 has been released (in a couple of days, according to the roadmap), development will shift in earnest to Firefox 4.0. The current 3.7 alpha build will be re-numbered to 4.0. Mike Beltzner's presentation with some new, juicy details of Firefox 4.0 is after the break.

It's a far cry from Chrome's rampant and reckless versioning, but I wouldn't be surprised if the 3.7-to-4.0 switch is perhaps a sign of Mozilla being reactionary.

Still, let's take a look at what we know about Firefox 4.0 (or 3.7) so far! 4.0 isn't much different from 3.6.4. There's Aero support and a new theme (Strata!), so visually it will look different -- but under the hood, 4.0 is basically a vehicle to update Gecko to 1.9.3. Of course, with a new version of Gecko we're going to get faster and more standards-compliant browsing -- but I wouldn't expect 4.0 to revolutionize your Web experience. 4.0 will bring us Jetpack though and a whole slew of new, faster, no-need-to-restart add-ons. By the time 4.1 or 4.2 comes around, Firefox could be back in the hot seat.

If you're interested in what Firefox 4.0 heralds, give the 3.7 alpha 5 nightly build a test run!
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Tags: 3.6.4, 3.7, 4.0, firefox, gecko, lorentz, roadmap, update



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