Firefox 6 and Thunderbird 6 Now Available

Mozilla’s Rapid Release schedule continues its thundering ahead today with version 6 of Firefox and Thunderbird being released today. Firefox 6 has been available through Mozilla’s FTP site since Friday but just now, as scheduled, it is available for download from Firefox 6 again doesn’t really change the look and feel of the browser but it introduces these new features according to the release notes:

  • The address bar now highlights the domain of the website you’re visiting
  • Streamlined the look of the site identity block
  • Added support for the latest draft version of WebSockets with a prefixed API
  • Added support for EventSource / server-sent events
  • Added support for window.matchMedia
  • Added Scratchpad, an interactive JavaScript prototyping environment
  • Added a new Web Developer menu item and moved development-related items into it
  • Improved usability of the Web Console
  • Improved the discoverability of Firefox Sync
  • Reduced browser startup time when using Panorama

You can view the full list of bug fixes for version 6 to see what else has changed. Firefox and Thunderbird are now in lock-step. With version 6 of both products being released today, according to the Mozilla wiki, their version 7 moves to the aurora channel and version 8 moves to the nightly channel. Firefox 3.6.20 and Thunderbird 3.1.12 are also to be released today. Firefox for Android will also receive an update, making it faster and less resource consuming.

Following the discussion last month Mozilla Firefox and the Back and Forth With Enterprise Allows IE and Chrome a Window of Opportunity, Mozilla is sticking to their guns on the rapid-release schedule. If plans continue, we’ll see a new version of Firefox and Thunderbird every 6 weeks.

Firefox 6 – Today August 16, 2011
Firefox 7 – September 27th, 2011
Firefox 8 – November 8th, 2011
Firefox 9 – December 20th, 2011 (confidently annotated by themselves as ‘really?’)

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