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Mozilla unveils Firefox 4 beta

Browser maker Mozilla has released the first public beta version of Firefox 4. The major upgrade includes support for a range of new web technologies, imporoved performance and a new interface.

The new version is available for Mac, Linux and Windows, but only Windows users are offered the new interface automatically. In other versions, however, it can be switched on manually.

The most significant change in the new interface is a move towards Google Chrome-style tabs placed above the address bar, which Mozilla is calling “tabs on top”.

Writing on the organisation’s blog, director Mike Beltzner wrote that “We moved the tabs to the top to make it easier to focus on the web content and easier to control the tools in your Web browser.

"Also, if you have Windows 7 or Windows Vista the Menu bar was replaced with a single Firefox button so you can get to the most used options with just one click.”

Also in common with Chrome, Firefox 4 now has improved crash protection, so that if one tab crashes the entire browser is not also affected.

The browser also now supports the HTML5 web language and Google’s WebM video standard.

Firefox currently accounts for approximately a quarter of all web browsers; Beltzner said updates to version 4’s beta would be issued every two to three weeks, and that a final build would be available by the end of November.

© Telegraph.co.uk

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