A new beta version of the next Firefox browser has arrived.
It has better support for web graphics and fonts, and it has been deemed complete enough for add-on developers to begin porting over their creations from older versions of Firefox.
If you’re a beta tester already, you’ll see an automatic update today or Thursday. If you’d like to download beta 7 for Windows, Mac or Linux, you can do so from Mozilla’s beta site.
Wednesday’s release comes on the heels of the recent announcement that Firefox 4 won’t be ready until early 2011. Mozilla’s release dates have always been somewhat loose, but the last update was over a month and a half ago, and we were originally expecting the browser to arrive some time between October or January. Now, it looks like Firefox 4′s release date could stretch out as far as the second quarter of next year. It’s a blow to fans of the open source browser, especially since Firefox is seeing increased competition from Chrome, which shifted to an accelerated release schedule earlier this year, and from Internet Explorer 9, which entered a public beta phase in September.
The silver lining here is that it’s looking like Firefox 4 will be much different than 3.6, the current version, and that the update will be worth the wait. Also, the beta releases have been remarkably stable, and, with very few exceptions, are capable enough for every day use.
For the full list of what’s new, check out the release notes. Here’s what has us the most excited.