File Under: Browsers

Firefox 4 Beta 10 Improves Stability, Uses Less Memory

Firefox 4 beta 10Hot on the heels of last week’s beta 9 release, Mozilla has pushed out another update for Firefox 4. With the final release drawing near, Mozilla is hard at work squashing the last few bugs blocking the Firefox 4 release. While the latest release, beta 10, doesn’t get them all, it is stable enough for early adopters.

If you’d like to try out beta 10 and help out in the testing process, head over to the Mozilla beta downloads page and grab a copy.

For those that have been using Firefox 4 beta releases for some time, there isn’t much new in this release. Most of the focus has been on improving stability and performance, particularly when it comes to hardware acceleration, one of the much-touted new features in Firefox 4.

Beta 10 sees Mozilla taking a more conservative approach to hardware acceleration by restricting it to only certain graphics cards. For the time being, if your graphics card isn’t completely up to the task, Firefox 4 will automatically disable it via a new graphics driver blacklist. Eventually Mozilla plans to expand its hardware acceleration support, but for now only cards from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia will make the cut.

On the Mac side, Flash performance should be a bit better in this release, and, perhaps more importantly, it should be less likely to crash your browser. There have also been some small tweaks to cut down on Firefox 4′s memory footprint.

While this beta shows Firefox 4 very close to complete, Mozilla is still planning at least one more beta release before Firefox 4 is considered ready for prime time. The current roadmap puts the final release of Firefox 4 near the end of February 2011.

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