Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 is Here

The much-delayed Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 is now out in the open and available for download. Mozilla says the latest update features numerous new features and performance improvements.

Firefox 3.1 Beta 3: What’s New

Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 was behind schedule because of problems with its TraceMonkey JavaScript engine. Mozilla now seems to think those issues are largely resolved, noting that TraceMonkey’s “performance and stability” are improved in the new release. Other changes in the third beta include:

• An improved “Private Browsing Mode” (commonly called “porn mode”). The history sidebar now has a button to “Forget This Site” as well.

• Improvements to Web worker thread support.

• The addition of native JSON support.

• Improvements to the Gecko layout engine that’ll deliver faster rendering.

• Support for video and audio tags and other new technologies.

You can read more about the new Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 and download a copy here. Remember that this is not a final release and may still have problems — Mozilla does not recommend it for general public use.

Firefox 3.1’s New Number

This beta will be the last release under the Firefox 3.1 designation. Starting with the fourth (and as of now final) beta, the program will become Firefox 3.5. Developers decided to make the jump because of the vast amount of changes within the release.

As for timing, Mozilla has stated it does not expect to make its original first quarter goal for the final Firefox 3.5 release. No specifics have been determined thus far, though, so stay tuned.