Firefox 2.0 Beta 2 should ship on Thursday

It is game on in Browser Wars, Part II with Firefox 2.0 Beta 2 finally ready for release just after Internet Explorer 7 Release Candidate 1 hits the streets
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

After some delay, Mozilla is expected finally to release the Beta 2 version of Firefox 2.0 on Thursday.

This should be the final step before Mozilla releases the final version of Firefox 2.0 sometime in October.

Although nothing had appeared on Mozilla's Web sites by Thursday lunchtime, Information Week was reporting that Mozilla had settled on that day for launch, thanks to a comment on the Mozilla wiki.

Mozilla is "on target to release Thursday, August 31 assuming no stop-ship items discovered in [test] builds which are now available as candidates [for release]", the entry read.

The date of 31 August could have been picked because it is the day of the next Lunch 2.0 meeting at Mozilla's California headquarters, an event where it gathers people from the open source community.

Firefox 2.0 Beta 2 has been scheduled for release a number of times, including 17 August. However, it was then rescheduled for 23 August before being delayed again.

Microsoft is by far the market leader in the competition between browsers, but Firefox has been making steady inroads. Now it appears that Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer are releasing new versions to a similar timetable.

Last week, Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 7 release candidate 1 (RC1), the first version of IE7 that was deemed up to release quality, without being quite ready for general release.

But while the competition between Microsoft and Mozilla is seen as being quite fierce, the two companies have been making overtures to show that they are prepared to co-operate.

Earlier this month, Microsoft sent an open letter to Mozilla offering facilities and help to make Firefox fully compatible with Microsoft's upcoming Vista operating system — an offer which Mozilla appeared to accept.

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