Firefox 12 is here, silences annoying Windows UAC warnings

Mozilla has let loose the latest update for the popular Firefox web browser. Firefox 12 offers a number of bug fixes and features, notably the suppression of the user account control dialog (UAC) pop-up.

Windows users get a more simplified update process. Targeting the UAC pop-up means that, once a user cedes permission to Firefox upon the initial installation, they won’t be prompted by Windows in the future for each new release.

“Unfortunately, the Windows UAC warnings weren’t born in a time of frequent software updates. Every time we update Firefox, the UAC system identifies it as a new or modified program and warns you all over again,” wrote Johnathan Nightingale on the Mozilla blog. “Those warnings work against their own purposes; they scare people away from running the most secure software.”

mozilla-firefoxThe team used a system level service to apply updates which tiptoed past the UAC warnings, but still maintained the security for the PC. The Mozilla team stresses that part of the reason versions are released every six weeks is to stay pace with online security. Of course, if you still want your UAC, you can still opt to have your UAC.

Wired points out that Firefox 13 may have a true silent background updating process similar to the way Chrome does things – downloading and installing subsequent versions while Firefox is running without you even noticing. This is definitely something Mozilla needs to work on going forward with this rapid release cycles. With Firefox 12 you still need to wait for updates and add-on checks, etc.

Alongside the UAC change, the new version includes many security fixes and packs a number of developer tool improvements. Web Console, Scratchpad, Style Editor, Page Inspector, 3D Page Inspector and more. Here’s an overview of the new in Firefox 12 below:

  • New – Windows: Firefox is now easier to update with one less prompt (User Account Control)
  • New – Page Source now has line numbers
  • Changed – Line breaks are now supported in the title attribute
  • Changed – Improvements to “Find in Page” to center search result
  • Changed – URLs pasted into the download manager window are now automatically downloaded
  • Developer – Support for the text-align-last CSS property has been added
  • Developer – Experimental support for ECMAScript 6 Map and Set objects has been implemented
  • Fixed – Various security fixes
  • Fixed – Some TinyMCE-based editors failed to load (739141)
  • Fixed – OS X: WebGL performance may be degraded on some hardware (713305)

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