Firefox 4: Beta 1 Is Here

Mozilla has released Beta 1 of Firefox 4-an update with a more Chrome-like, minimalist interface, an improved add-on manager (it occupies a full window rather than a teeny-tiny one), speed improvements, more support for emerging Web standards like HTML5 and Google's WebM video format, and more. (Only the Windows version has the new interface so far-it'll arrive for the Mac and Linux in a later beta.)

At the moment, I find myself in the weird situation of not having a favorite browser-I leap between Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Flock without giving it much thought, and sometimes take side trips to IE and Opera. I am, however, rooting for Firefox 4 to be good: I love browser competition, and I don't want it to devolve into a battle between Microsoft and Google, which is the likely scenario if Firefox doesn't stay popular and inventive.

More thoughts to come, but I have to do some troubleshooting-the Windows version I downloaded and installed is refusing to load Web pages. Here's Mozilla's blog post on the new version.

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