Firefox 3.0 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is released - complete with sneaky change

Many of you will know that I've been following the progress of the Firefox 3.0 browser carefully over the past few months. Yesterday the browser entered an important phase of development with the unveiling of Release Candidate 1 (RC1).

More Firefox 3.0 RC1 coverage: Firefox 3.0 RC 1 takes the lead on speed 

Many of you will know that I've been following the progress of the Firefox 3.0 browser carefully over the past few months. Yesterday the browser entered an important phase of development with the unveiling of Release Candidate 1 (RC1).

Full installation gallery here

Important changes include:

  • Improvements to the user interface based on user feedback, including changes to the look and feel on Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X and Linux.
  • Changes and fixes for new features such as the location bar autocomplete, bookmark backup and restore, full page zoom, and others, based on feedback from our community.
  • Fixes and improvements to platform features to improve security, web compatibility and stability.
  • Continued performance improvements: changes to our JavaScript engine as well as profile guided optimization continues to improve performance over previous releases as measured by the popular SunSpider test from Apple, and in the speed of web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office.

I've not had much time to use the browser yet and get to know it, but so far it seems fast, responsive and stable. Performance isn't perceptibly different from Beta 5 and memory usage seems to be about the same.

OK, but what's that sneaky change you were on about?

Firefox 3.0 RC1
Well, previously when you carried out an install of Firefox, when you first run the browser you would be asked if you wanted to make the browser the default browser on the system. With RC1 of Firefox 3.0 this seems to have changed. You are now asked during the install process if you want to make Firefox the default browser on the system.

It would seem that if you don't want Firefox 3.0 to be your default browser then you will need to keep your eyes peeled during the install process or fire up your browser of choice and let it reset itself back as the default, as most are wont to do.

More on Firefox 3.0 later.

Thoughts?