Mozilla Launches Firefox 2.0 Browser

The Mozilla Corporation on Monday posted to its download site the final release of Firefox 2.0, the second-generation release of the popular alternative Web browser. An official announcement is expected Tuesday.

New features in Firefox 2.0 include enhancements in security, tabbed browsing, performance, and extensions. The browser update also includes a built-in spell checking and an anti-phishing feature, much like Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7, which launched last week.

JavaScript 1.7 and improved subscribing of RSS feeds are also among the additions. The update to Firefox's JavaScript interpreter is an important change, especially as more Web sites take advantage of the new benefits of Asynchronous JavaScript -- especially as they embed objects or functionality from Google and Microsoft Windows Live.

As Mozilla vice president for engineering Mike Schroepfer told BetaNews in an interview, JavaScript 1.7 is an interim build - a "check point" on the way to finally implementing JavaScript 2.0, which is based on (actually a superset of) the ECMAscript 4.0 proposal that Netscape made to the ECMA standards body in 2003, and which incorporates Macromedia's (now Adobe's) ActionScript 2.0.

Firefox 2.0 has been in testing since March and was originally slated to launch in August. However, a number of last minute bugs and security issues pushed back the release to October, and Mozilla said it would not rush FIrefox's first major upgrade.

Firefox 2.0 is now available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

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