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5 Things To Know About Firefox 4 Beta 9

It has already been one week since Mozilla's Firefox 4 Beta 9 browser has been released and it seems as if this is finally the one that will serve as the springboard for the release candidate scheduled for February.

Apart from the fact that the browser is available in 76 languages, the biggest improvement appears to be the complete overhaul of the bookmarks and history code which, according to Mozilla, will significantly improve bookmarking and startup speeds.

It will also come with a new, sleeker and faster JavaScript engine called Jägermonkey which supports x86, x86-64, and ARM on a shared code base; some benchmarks show a four hundred percent improvement compared to TraceMonkey (opens in new tab).

Just like Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4 Beta 9 now performs some rendering operations using the onboard dedicated GPU using Direct3D 10 on Windows Vista and 7 or Open GL on Mac OS X. This yields faster graphics performance overall and improves things like display speeds.

Unfortunately, there are still tons of hardblocker bugs, those which will prevent FF4 from shipping. As of this evening, there were 105 in all with some like the inability to print or doing print preview from a Gmail account being show-stoppers.

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 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.