The new version, dubbed “Firefox 0.8″ replaces the old “Firebird” and features an improved download manager as well as better extension and bookmark handling.
Mozilla also released a preview version of its Thunderbird e-mail client Monday. The new Thunderbird 5.0 offers the ability to synchronize with devices from Palm, and features secure password authentication for SMTP and POP3 mail clients, an upgraded spell-checker and dictionary, and fixes to various bugs.
From the Mozilla press release:
The Mozilla Foundation today announced the immediate availability of a new preview release of its next generation web browser, Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla Firefox 0.8 represents the bleeding edge of Internet technology and raises the bar for ease of use, performance, robustness and standards compliance.
The new release marks a significant milestone on the development roadmap towards the highly anticipated 1.0 release of the Mozilla project’s next generation web browser. New features in this release include:
- A powerful new download manager that makes tracking multiple downloads easier;
- Numerous improvements to bookmarks handling, making it easier than ever to keep track of your favorite sites;
- Improved handling of extensions – small, easy to download applications that can be installed with a few simple mouse clicks and extend the browser’s functionality. Community members have created more than 200 such extensions, including add-ons that remove ad banners, add spell-checker functionality, and add the ability to search Amazon.com, eBay or other popular sites from the Firefox toolbar;
- An easy to use installer for Microsoft Windows users;
- A new default theme for Mac OS X users that integrates seamlessly with the OS X desktop environment.
Firefox 0.8 continues to build increasing levels of performance and stability into the browser. Hundreds of volunteer developers and testers contributed numerous bug fixes, new features and security improvements during this development cycle, again demonstrating the strength of the open source community’s commitment to powerful, stable and secure applications.
The new release also marks a name change for the new browser, which was previously known as Mozilla Firebird. â€œWe are pleased to release a new preview version of Mozilla Firefox,â€ commented Mitchell Baker, President of the Mozilla Foundation. â€œTo avoid overlap with another open source project, we have decided to change the name of this product from Mozilla Firebird to Mozilla Firefox.â€
Along with the new name, Firefox sports a new logo and the Mozilla Foundation is kicking off a grass-roots Get Firefox campaign to spread word about the new browser.
Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5: Enterprise-grade email
The Mozilla Foundation also announced the latest preview release of its new email application, Mozilla Thunderbird.
Responding to strong interest in Thunderbird among enterprises and educational institutions, Thunderbird 0.5 includes numerous improvements aimed at enterprise users:
- The ability to synchronize address books with Palm devices;
- IMAP performance and interoperability improvements;
- Secure password authentication using SSPI NTLM for SMTP and POP3;
- Improved LDAP support;
- Improved migration from Netscape 4.x;
- Improved spell checker and English dictionary;
- Numerous other bug fixes and improvements.
Mozilla 1.6: 1,000 reasons to get it; closing in on 1,000,000 downloads in 20 days
While Mozilla Firefox 0.8 and Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5 are preview releases of the Mozilla project’s next generation standalone web browser and email application, Mozilla 1.6 is a mature Internet suite that combines a web browser, email client, easy to use web page editor and Internet Chat software. In the twenty days since its release, Mozilla 1.6 has been downloaded close to a million times, setting a new record for the Mozilla project â€“ a powerful testament to the pent-up user demand for an evolutionary, feature-rich, stable and secure web browser suite. Mozilla 1.6 has received rave reviews from users and media alike and includes close to 1000 bug fixes, new features and performance enhancements.
Firefox 0.8, Thunderbird 0.5 and Mozilla 1.6 can be downloaded for free from the Mozilla Foundation’s web site, at www.mozilla.org. All source code and documentation is freely available under the open source Mozilla Public License.