Firefox 3.6 To Drop Support For Windows 2000, Introduce New UI

Amidst reports of the forthcoming release of the fourth iteration of Firefox 3.5 Beta next week, several rumours have emerged about the long terms plans of Mozilla for the open source browser.

The next beta version of Firefox will include the much-improved TraceMonkey Javascript engine and could come out as early as April 22nd according to sources. The original Firefox 3.0 was introduced 10 months ago.

But future versions of Firefox could well use radically different interfaces compared to the current version.

According to Readwriteweb, one of the most interesting updates under consideration would be the possibility to switch between vertical and horizontal tabs.

This would mean having an interface similar to iTunes - or indeed Windows Explorer Classic edition - with a slim vertical bar on the left and a main frame occupying the majority of the screen.

The switch to a change in the layout arose because of the increasing number of tabs being opened by internet users as browsers are increasingly being used as working environments rather than simple internet applications.

There are also rumours concerning Mozilla's support for old versions of Windows especially Windows 2000 since it doesn't include the UxTheme API.

Computerworld reports that Mozilla developers and executives are considering eliminating support for Windows 2000, XP SP1 and SP2 in the 2010 edition of Firefox's browser.

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Our Comments

Firefox is set to catch up with Google Chrome and Safari when it comes to optimal user interface experience. What does that mean? Well, for a start, it might prevent users from moving to other web browsers and encourage Internet Explorer 6 users to migrate to FF.

Related Links

Firefox redesign rumoured

http://www.siliconrepublic.com/news/article/12753/new-media/firefox-redesign-rumoured

Mozilla reconsiders Firefox support on Win2K/XP

http://www.techspot.com/news/34288-Mozilla-reconsiders-Firefox-support-on-Win2K-XP.html

Firefox 3.6 may no longer support Windows 2000

http://www.h-online.com/open/Firefox-3-6-may-no-longer-support-Windows-2000--/news/113073

Mozilla considers dumping Firefox support for Win2k, early XP

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/15/firefox_gecko_windows_support_conflab/

Firefox 3.5 beta 4 due next week

http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/42035/140/

The Future of Firefox: No Tabs, Built-In Ubiquity

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_future_of_firefox_no_tabs_built_in_ubiquity.php