Firefox 8 is here

Firefox 8 is here

Summary: Mozilla officially releases another new version of Firefox.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Browser, CXO
11

Mozilla has released Firefox 8, so if you want to stay ahead of the curve, it's time to upgrade.

There are a fair few new features in this release for you to get your teeth into:

  • Add-ons installed by third party programs are now disabled by default - This gives users the choice of auditing what add-ons are installed and kicking to the kerb any they're no longer using.
  • Twitter search added tot he search bar.
  • New preference added that allows users to choose to load tabs on demand at startup, thereby improving performance when the browser is launched.
  • Improved performance and memory handling when using <audio> and <video> elements.
  • Whole bunch of stability and security fixes.

Words of caution: Should you upgrade? Well ... it depends. If you're relying on certain add-ons to work then you might want to carry out a test install first just to see that everything works. When I downloaded Firefox 8 yesterday ahead of the official release, a LOT of add-ons stopped working, so be warned! Alternatively, wait a few days for add-on developers to get their act together and update their code.

Note: If you do install Firefox 8 and find that things don't work right, you can uninstall it and re-install an earlier version.

Is it evolutionary or revolutionary? Personally, I don't see anything in this version that demanded that it be assigned a whole new version number, but it's Mozilla's browser and naming is not a democracy.

Download the new Firefox here. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Also released today was version 8 of Thunderbird, Mozilla's email client.

Related:

Topics: Browser, CXO

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

11 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Firefox 8 is here

    Add-ons should be fixed relatively quickly if they have any support at all. The reason they "break" is because the author's have to give a compatible version number and Firefox doesn't even try to run it if it's not in the list.

    It's quite hilarious watching my Thunderbird "Hello World" extension break every new update.
    Aerowind
  • RE: Firefox 8 is here

    "Add-ons installed by third party programs are now disabled by default - This gives users the choice of auditing what add-ons are installed and kicking to the kerb any theyre no longer using."<br><br>We Americans spell it "curb" :P.

    And it's good to hear that finally third party programs won't be killing our browser anymore. Hoping that other browsers will do the same.<br><br>"Twitter search added tot he search bar."<br><br>And apparently we need to add grammar check to Firefox -_-.<br><br>Why would I want to search Twitter? It's a news feed. Anything more than a day old is usually useless.<br><br>"New preference added that allows users to choose to load tabs on demand at startup, thereby improving performance when the browser is launched."<br><br>Excellent. I know I usually have lots of tabs open, this will help a lot.<br><br>"Improved performance and memory handling when using audio and video elements."<br><br>I hope it's enough. If there's one reason why I often reach for another browser, it's because I have a horrible experience with video in Firefox. Chrome and IE9 handled it much better than previous versions of Firefox.<br><br>"Whole bunch of stability and security fixes."<br><br>Always good <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy">.<br><br>"Personally, I dont see anything in this version that demanded that it be assigned a whole new version number"<br><br>They're taking on Google's philosophy of making version numbers meaningless. An upgrade is an upgrade. When is the last time anybody knew what version of Chrome they had? Pretty much every public release of Chrome, even if it's a minor fix, is a new major version.<br><br>BTW - I noticed they changed some of the controls to be more opaque and visible in Firefox 8.
    CobraA1
  • RE: Firefox 8 is here

    And.... Congratulations! within 5 seconds of going to ZDNet to read this article on Firefox it crashed! time to use another browser again...
    xtreem0
    • Nope

      @xtreem0 ... i've had it opened (i.e. FF 8.0) for the last hour and a half, no problems whatsoever.

      [i]" ... And.... Congratulations! within 5 seconds of going to ZDNet to read this article on Firefox it crashed! time to use another browser again... "[/i]

      .. what browser would that be? FF 3.6.x? ;)
      thx-1138_
  • RE: Firefox 8 is here

    I see the proud tradition of frequent crashes, starting with 7.0 is continuing. I can't think of a better way to get people to move to IE or some other non-Mozilla browser.
    TsarNikky
  • RE: Firefox 8 is here

    Got it on three puters.
    All good to go.
    Those having problems obviously have a problem with their own system.
    MoeFugger
  • RE: Firefox 8 is here

    Got it, very fast, nice. Those having crashes, I doubt its due to Firefox. No issues here.
    dwb124
  • RE: Firefox 8 is here

    I've been using Firefox 9beta (Aurora) for a while, no crashes!
    Tony Burzio
  • RE: Firefox 8 is here

    Haven't had any crashes so far, so I'm thinking the stability issues people are having are addons or plugins.

    Firefox 8 is pretty fast - page loads seem really quick. Time will tell what its memory footprint will be. Tab groups still need a lot of work, though, as they still seem slow.

    Sad to say, the multimedia improvements aren't enough, I'm still having issues.

    I did turn on the new preference to only load pages on demand, and it seems to work well. Very good for those who use lots of tabs.
    CobraA1
  • RE: Firefox 8 is here

    Seriously? What has gotten into the coding team / dev team? Firefox has gone from like version 3.x to 8.0 in a matter of what, maybe a YEAR??? Do you guys understand the use of major vs. minor version releases? The versioning is a joke and you are losing users with all this confusion and nonsense. Small, but useful changes to the way something runs, those are MINOR releases.. 7.x.x, NOT a major release. Come on..
    exit151
  • Firefox Version 8 Does not work

    Version 8 version does not work with Yahoo mail and crashes like every 5 minutes. Ever since version 5, all the updates are bad, no testing before release. Firefox is going to lose a lot of users over this latest update. My advice do not download.
    lretire