Mozilla News: Firefox 3.1 and Fennec Ramping Up

The code for the second beta version of Mozilla’s Firefox 3.1 browser has hit new milestones and is moving closer to release, according to a blog post from Mozilla. The new version of Firefox promises to deliver a number of strong enhancements, including much improved JavaScript performance, which could make hosted applications online, such as Zoho’s and Google’s, work more efficiently.

Mozilla is out with other news as well, including news about its mobile browser.

Fennec, Mozilla’s mobile browser has seen its first extension arrive, which ends the debate over whether this browser would attract extension developers. According to Mozilla, Chris Finke has added Fennec compatibility to his URL Fixer extension.

The thing to note about this extension is that it was originally a Firefox extension. Extensions are, of course, among the primary reasons that many users favor Firefox over other browsers. Chris Fenke’s extension for Fennec is a fork of his original extension for Firefox. I expect this to happen with many Firefox extensions, and that’s why I think many people are underestimating the prospects for Fennec. It hasn’t been released for use on a wide variety of mobile devices yet. Look for it to be used widely, with extensions, on lots of platforms.

In other Mozilla news, Firefox jumped above 20 percent browser market share for two weeks in October.  according to data from NetApplications. The arrival of Google Chrome slowed its growth down a bit, but not much. The many enhancements in Firefox 3.1 will undoubtedly make the browser attractive to even more users, and it’s reasonable to expect it to arrive this month.  It will make many aspects of web work easier.

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