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Firefox 4 beta 3 arrives with Windows 7 touch support, two more betas coming

It's certainly been fun watching Firefox 4 take shape, and some significant improvements have been made since the early days as 3.7. Mozilla had slated today for the arrival of beta 3, and it looks like they're right on schedule -- an official announcement should come later this afternoon (tentatively at 3PM Pacific).

The download link on still points to Firefox 4 beta 2, but you can grab beta 3 at Softpedia if you'd rather not wait for Mozilla to make the switch. According to Mozilla, beta 3 is "stable and safe to use for daily web browsing," and my own experience with the browser bears that out.

So what's new in beta 3? Perhaps the biggest addition is built-in support for multitouch on Windows 7. While that might not be a big deal right now (there aren't a ton of users with multitouch displays on Windows 7 devices yet), tablets are on the way and should be arriving on retail shelves right around the time Firefox 4 is finalized.

Improvements have also been made to Firefox's JavaScript engine which allow for faster number-crunching. That change, coupled with Firefox 4's already awesome hardware acceleration support should make for even better graphical experiences in the browser.

It's also worth noting that there are (at least) two more betas planned for Firefox 4. Monday, August 16th, marks the feature freeze for beta 4 and developers have slated the final Firefox 4 freeze for beta 5. After that, it's on to the RCs and RTM!

ed. note: Mozilla would appreciate it if you didn't use the direct FTP links, but instead wait for your existing beta to automatically update or for the beta to be updated on a little later this afternoon. They're still putting the finishing touches on the Web-side changes required for this release.

[via Softpedia]

Tags: beta, browser, ff, firefox 4, Firefox4, mozilla