Firefox 3 coming soon

Hard on the heels of Microsoft making a song and a dance about its beta test edition of Internet Explorer 8, it seems that Mozilla is getting close to releasing the gold code version of Firefox 3.

Word on the newswires is that version 4 of the beta test edition has gone out to the Firefox faithful.

Features of Firefox 3 reportedly include validation and checking of Web sites before they are loaded, malware protection and scaled zooming of pages.

All excellent stuff. Even better is the news that Mozilla claims to be closer to releasing the new version of Firefox than Microsoft is with Internet Explorer 8.

I've had a look at Firefox 3 and am quite taken with the Web site checking facility, under which you click on a page's favicon (image) in the browser location bar and the software flashes up who owns the

site/page in question.

And if the site uses extended validation SSL certificates, the Web site indicator turns green.

The anti-malware feature I'm not so sure about, as it flags up a warning flag if a punter is about to visit a site which has any malware of similar infection embedded or routed from it.

The best feature of all, I think, is the dramatic speed increase in Java code execution, which is a must-have facility - Microsoft take note. I can't wait for the gold code edition...