Firefox 4 Starts to Take Shape

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Mozilla has shared some hints for those who just can’t wait to see what the upcoming version of its Firefox web-browser will look like when it eventually gets Firefox 4 out the door.

Mozilla’s Stephen Horlander is one of the few people in a strong position to know what state Firefox 4 will arrive in when it finally hits, but it seems as though the snapshots we saw of potential user interfaces for the new browser in Summer are fairly accurate. Of course, back then the big debate was about whether tabs should be listed above or below the address bar. That one seems to have subsided now, and the mockups for the new Firefox UI are looking sharper now.

It’s nice to see that there are a few things changing and a few old friends that have survived the transition. We’re interested to see that Firefox seems to be moving with tabs above the address bar, a change so universally reviled when Apple launched Safari 4 that by the time Safari 4.01 hit the tabs were returned to their usual place.

More interesting still is the fact that the usual line of menus across the top of the Window has been dropped in favour of one, which simply reads “Firefox” rather than “File” or whatever else it might have been. It’s certainly tidier but we’ll have to wait and see whether or not it’s any easier to use than the current arrangement, which, if nothing else, has stood the test of time.

We’re also happy to see that the dedicated Google box remains at the top of the page; there had been some discussion of it being dropped… since the URL bar will already Google any terms you drop in there.

Of course, without the Google box, where would we take notes while we’re browsing!?

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2 Responses to “Firefox 4 Starts to Take Shape”

  1. nutterguy Says:

    finally they start to use microsoft UI guidelines and aero. I mean it’s only going to take them until 2011 to release anything like this… Where as chrome and IE8 already have most of the features that firefox will be slowly introducing. Not hating, just stating…

    • komplettie Says:

      It’s sad that it’s taking them so long… both Chrome and IE8 have a sharper look than Firefox at the moment, and the longer FF4 gets delayed, the more obvious that becomes. It’s also just a little sad that Chrome has managed such solid extension support so quickly; extensions have been one of the biggest reasons people like Firefox over other browsers.

      Things are looking pretty grim, when you think about it.

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