Why wait until tomorrow, when you can download Firefox 6 today
Although not due to be officially released until tomorrow, Mozilla has placed Firefox 6 Final on to its download servers. The latest version of Mozilla's open-source browser -- the third major release in five months -- sports a brand new Permissions Manager, which allows users to set privacy controls on a site-per-site basis.
Firefox 6, which will be officially unveiled tomorrow, currently launches to a window telling you that you're running a beta version. Once the app is officially launched this should subsequently point to a new page introducing you to the latest version.
Its most notable new feature is the new Permissions Manager. This is accessible by typing about:permissions into the Address Bar, and allows you to set up customised privacy settings for individual websites. These cover passwords, cookies, pop-up windows, offline storage and shared location settings. A global setting for all non-configured sites is also available, making it possible to set up highly restricted settings for unknown websites to improve privacy and security.
Most of the improvements in Firefox 6 are behind-the-scenes, with performance improvements of up to 20 per cent over Firefox 5 being debated. Add-on compatibility is now tested automatically by a plug-in checker, while WebSockets are now supported and HTML compatibility is extended further.
With the move of version 6 to the release channel, expect Firefox 7 to switch from Aurora to Beta, with Firefox 8 taking its place in the Aurora channel shortly. Firefox 7 will finally take steps to address the memory leak problem that has plagued Firefox, while version 8 should see major changes to the way add-ons are installed and updated, with silent installs blocked and users having to manually select which add-ons are retained from previous versions.
Firefox 6 Final is available as a free, open-source download for Windows, Mac and Linux.