Firefox 5 Lands Without A Bunch of Fanfare But Brings Do-Not-Track

Remember when Firefox 3 was released and there was a big deal about setting the world record for number of downloads in a day? Well, the same hoopla hasn’t come to town with Firefox 5’s release today. Trying to keep up with Google Chrome frequent release rate, which has a stable version at 12 within its 3 years of existence, Mozilla is increasing the pace of major releases. Firefox 4 was just released 3 months ago and Firefox 6 and 7 are planned to be released in 2011 according to the roadmap.

An announcement from the Mozilla blog covers the details of this release.

The latest version of Firefox includes more than 1,000 improvements and performance enhancements that make it easier to discover and use all of the innovative features in Firefox. This release adds support for more modern Web technologies that make it easier for developers to build amazing Firefox Add-ons, Web applications and websites.

Firefox for Android includes the Do Not Track privacy feature in this release, making Firefox the first browser to support Do Not Track on multiple platforms. Mozilla created Do Not Track to give users more control over the way their browsing behavior is tracked and used on the Web. The feature, which lets users tell websites that they wish to opt-out of online behavioral tracking, is now easier to find in Firefox Preferences.

Mozilla is also engaging the community more with this release to make Firefox a platform again and show off its ability for web apps and sites.

Mozilla has a rich set of resources that make it easier for Web developers to build compelling Firefox Add-ons using HTML, JavaScript and CSS. The new Firefox Add-on SDK for Windows, Mac and Linux enables local development of add-ons, while the Firefox Add-on Builder Beta provides a hosted Web-based build environment. Developers can build Firefox Add-ons for all platforms that install and update without requiring a browser restart or interrupting the Web browsing experience.

Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux now supports the CSS Animations standard to enable developers to build more amazing Web applications and websites. Mozilla Hacks has a tutorial on CSS Animations and a comprehensive blog post explaining what developers can create with Firefox.

You can update to Firefox 5 by going to Help, About Firefox and clicking the Check for Updates button. You can also download it from the Mozilla website. You can get Firefox for Android through the Android Marketplace.

I’m still running Firefox 3 at home due to compatibility issues with school software but I guess that’s going to get delegated to Internet Explorer now. Hopefully, IE9 doesn’t have issues with Blackboard.

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