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Firefox 3 (Fx3 or FF3)

Firefox 3 (Fx3 or FF3) is the third version of the popular Web browser released by the Mozilla Corporation. FF3 includes improvements to security, performance, support for developer add-ons and usability.

New features for this version of Firefox include:

  • One-click bookmarking, in which clicking a "star" button allows a user to quickly add bookmarks from the location bar, file and tag them.
  • Full zoom for Web pages, including the option to save zoom setting for individual websites.
  • A new API for microformats that developers can use to build add-ons.
  • Support for offline Web applications that will work within the browser and synchronize once connectivity is restored.
  • Resumable downloading, allowing users to continue downloads after interruptions, such as restarting the browser or resetting a network connection.
  • An add-on Manager that offers improved management of plug-ins and other third-party components.
  • Updated password management.
  • Improved graphics and font handling provides rendering improvements in CSS and support for images with embedded color profiles.

Firefox 3 also addresses malware and phishing protection in a number of ways, including:

  • Malware warnings, which alert users when they visit sites known to install viruses, spyware, trojans or other malicious software.
  • Web forgery protection, which prevents the content of pages suspected as Web forgeries from being shown.
  • Add-ons and plug-in version management, which automatically checks for and disables older, insecure versions.
  • Support for Vista parental controls, which can be set to disable file downloads.
  • Improved protection against cross-site scripting and JSON data links.
  • A site identification button that acts as a color-coded security indicator and displays information about a given site, including the presence of SSL.

Firefox uses the open source Gecko layout engine and is based on the Mozilla browser from which much of its code was originally derived. The source code for Firefox is free, open source software (FOSS) and is released under a tri-license GPL/LGPL/MPL. Mozilla has released Firefox 3 for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X in a variety of languages.

According to Mozilla's performance tests, Firefox 3 is twice as fast as Firefox 2 and nine times as fast as Internet Explorer 7. Mozilla's memory usage tests found Firefox 3 twice as efficient as Firefox 2 and more than four times as efficient as IE7.

See also Firefox 3.5.

Learn More About IT:
> Deb Richardson has posted an excellent Field Guide to Firefox 3.
> Get the latest version of Firefox 3 here.
> Mozilla's Firefox blog features links, resources and commentary about the upcoming release.
> Mozilla also hosts a webpage for the Firefox 3 development community.
> Mozilla is hosting a World Download day for Firefox 3, with hopes of setting a Guinness World Record for most downloaded software on a single day.

This was last updated in March 2011

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