Firefox 5 Review
By on June 22nd, 2011

Mozilla-Firefox-5After Firefox 4 was plagued by innumerable delays, Mozilla did some course-correction and decided to switch from a traditional release cycle to the quick release cycle used by Google Chrome. As a result, Firefox 5 arrived in record time. However, how good is Firefox 5? Let’s have a look.

At first glance, Firefox 5 looks and feels identical to Firefox 4. In fact, even after using it for a couple of days, I couldn’t tell the difference between Firefox 4 and 5. A quick look at the changelog confirmed that Firefox 5 has barely any new features of note. Yeah, it fixes close to a thousand bugs, and takes care of some serious security issues; however, it has very few new goodies to offer.

The biggest feature in Firefox 5 is that the “Do Not Track” feature, which we have discussed in a fair amount of detail in the past, is now more accessible. It is now available under the Privacytab, instead of being buried under Advancedoptions. Yep, the biggest user-perceivable change in Firefox 5 is a minor interface tweak.

Firefox-5

Other than this, Firefox 5 adds supports for CSS animations, improves canvas, JavaScript, memory, and networking performance, and improves standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL, and canvas. As mentioned earlier, it also fixes some extremely critical security issues. Five of the vulnerabilities patched were rated as critical, and a couple were rated as high risk by Mozilla. Two of these issues dealt with WebGL, which has making headlines of late due to Microsoft’s allegation that it will become an on-going source of hard to fix vulnerabilities.

To be honest, Firefox 5 doesn’t merit being called anything other than Firefox 4.02. However, Google has been doing the same thing for quite some time, and has been getting away with it. Mozilla has announced that it doesn’t plan on maintaining the Firefox 4.x trunk, so users have no choice but to jump aboard Firefox 5 in order to stay secure. Firefox 5 is a great browser, because Firefox was already a great browser. However, Firefox 5 brings very little to the table other than improved security, and the additional headache of incompatible extensions.

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Author: Pallab De Google Profile for Pallab De
Pallab De is a blogger from India who has a soft spot for anything techie. He loves trying out new software and spends most of his day breaking and fixing his PC. Pallab loves participating in the social web; he has been active in technology forums since he was a teenager and is an active user of both twitter (@indyan) and facebook .

Pallab De has written and can be contacted at pallab@techie-buzz.com.

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