Firefox: The Pre-Release Version is a Big Improvement

Have you been using the latest release candidate RC1 of version 3 of Mozilla’s Firefox browser? If you haven’t, and you’re a regular user of Firefox, you may want to consider doing so now, before the official release of the final offering in June. I’ve been using RC1, and find it to be far faster than previous versions, in addition to other conveniences. It also handles memory much more efficiently. See Mike’s thoughts on this version as well.

While the final release of Firefox version 3 is scheduled for June, ZDNet is reporting that during the first week of June, Mozilla will release a second release candidate. If you want to start using RC1 now, and perhaps jump to RC2, what tips should you keep in mind?

Version 3 of Firefox is built on an entirely new version 1.9 of the Gecko rendering engine. While Mozilla is still warning that this is pre-release software, if you use Firefox all day, it’s worth considering using the latest release candidates. The browser is now much faster, and has a lot of added security features, in addition to other amenities.

Release Candidate 1 does not work with all Firefox extensions yet, which has caused many people to shy away from trying it, but there are workarounds. I’ve had success using Nightly Tester Tools to run many of my extensions.

Also, when using several of the earlier versions of Firefox 3, I just kept them loaded in a virtual machine, and jumped over to version 2 when I wanted to use my extensions. You can also load the release candidates in a separate drive partition, or simply in a dedicated folder if you want to run pre-release version 3 and version 2 in tandem.

If you haven’t tried the latest pre-release versions, I recommend finding a way to do so. Have you been using RC1?