Firefox Friday: can Firefox hold off Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome?
There's strong competition from all sides. The IE9 beta launches next week and we'll soon see whether Microsoft can transform its excellent developer previews into something which can make the end-user salivate. Chrome's hardware acceleration currently leads the pack, and will presumably find its way to the beta build very soon. Does Firefox 4 have what it takes to hold onto its wavering market share?
This war, kicked off by Google's intent to push Chrome from nerdy obscurity into the mainstream, has forced Mozilla to roll with the blows. After almost completely avoiding innovation with Firefox 3.6 -- yay, Personas! -- we're now seeing a delicious glut of additions rolling out with each and every beta build of Firefox 4.
These past two weeks have been the busiest I've ever seen Mozilla, in terms of bug fixes, new features, and new out-reach and research projects. Let's tuck in!
The outlook of in-the-browser 2D and 3D games is sunny
Which reminds me... what's happening to that Mozilla Web App Store?
What can developers do with their games after they write them? Self-publish? Publish their game on Steam?
Everyone and their mother is working on an app store at the moment -- but not Mozilla. All of this talk of building upon Open Web technologies and shunning proprietary platforms like Native Client, yet the only outlet Firefox developers have is AMO! And that's for add-ons!
I'm certain Chrome's Web Store will open first -- not to mention the tie-in it will have with Google TV and Chrome OS installations! -- and Microsoft has spent the last few months pushing developers to write apps for IE9... but Mozilla is still only testing the waters.
If Mozilla built it, game developers would come.
To finish, here are the latest Mozilla releases, along any significant changes:
- Firefox 3.6.9 -- the stable build of Firefox received a ton of bug fixes (67!) and patched no less than 14 security vulnerabilities
- Firefox 3.5.12 -- yup, tons of people are still running Firefox 3.5. Some security and stability issues were fixed
- Firefox 4.0 beta 5 -- and finally, FF4 beta 5 was released this week, with hardware acceleration turned on by default and the inclusion of the new Audio Data API. The hardware acceleration -- if it can be called that -- actually doesn't seem to work right now. I've asked Mozilla about it, but I haven't had a response yet
- Thunderbird 3.1.3 -- yes, Thunderbird is still going! This is just a standard point release that fixes some bugs and stability issues