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Mozilla releases Firefox RC1, getting ready for an IE8 bash event

14,000 : that's the number of updates that Mozilla has brought to the latest version open source browser, Firefox, which has just been pushed out of the door as a Release Candidate, which means that the final version is not far.

Most of the updates were related to performance and stability improvements as well as making Firefox more efficient when it comes to memory management - still one of Firefox's main weaknesses.

Firefox 3 RC1, which has been in development for nearly three years, now incorporates the Gecko 1.9 Engine which should make the browser display pages even faster.

Mike Schroepfer, Head honcho of Engineering at Mozilla Foundation, reckons that Firefox is ten times faster than Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and three times quicker than Firefox 2 when it comes to web applications like Google Mail or Zoho Office.

Some of the major features of this release are one click site info (actually, you have to click two times to get more information) which displays an extensive list of data including the number of times you visited a particular website.

Firefox 3 RC1 also incorporates a number of security functionalities like more tighter antivirus integration, Malware protection, a new web forgery protection page, new SSL error pages as well as an updated add-ons and plugin version checker which get rid of older, insecure versions.

You can download Firefox 3 RC1 by clicking here.

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.