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Firefox 3 Beta 3 : Best Firefox so far

Opening 40 tabs in the current Firefox 2.0.0.12 web browser would be the equivalent of going disguised as Hillary Clinton to a meeting of hardcore Barack Obama's supporters; you would be looking for big problems.

Firefox would either freeze, become very slow or display a number of symptoms - like the inability to navigate windows using shortcuts or the absence of right click menus - that would make your browsing experience unbearable.

Firefox 3 Beta 3 is definitely faster, much faster than its predecessor and that's the main reason why you should switch immediately if you don't use any plugins even if it is in Beta mode.

Stephan Shankland (opens in new tab) from News.com says that it is more stable (haven't used it for much long to vet this) and use memory more efficiently - 40 open tabs are consuming just above 220MB of memory and more importantly, the browser still feels usable.

Firefox 3 Beta 3 also brings in a number of improvements (opens in new tab) - more than 1300 according to Mozilla's release notes - including a tool to see who owns a website, a more comprehensive URL lookup system, better protection against malicious code and the removal of 350 memory leaks.

However, if you are dependent on your plugins, you might want to wait till the final version before moving and there are some online services that are not compatible with the latest Firefox.

Foxmarks, Fireftp and Alexa's plugins are not recognised and Google Apps may tell you that your browser is not compatible (you just have to append ?browserok=true to the end of the URL; just make sure you press the 'esc' button to grab the URL in time).

You can download the latest beta version here (opens in new tab).

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.