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Firefox 13 Beta Released

It was less than a week ago that Mozilla pushed out Firefox 12 (complete with silent updates and the best part of a hundred tweaks), but the company has already unleashed the beta of Firefox 13.

In an announcement on its blog page, Mozilla said that the new beta is available for download on Windows, Mac and Linux, and that it makes surfing the web "faster and easier".

So what's new, exactly? The most obvious change is a redesigned home page, which now features a bank of shortcuts at the bottom. These provide quick and easy access to bookmarks, history, settings, downloads and add-ons, as well as sync preferences.

The Tab page has also been reworked, so now when you open a new tab, it won't be blank but instead it'll play host to a number of tiled pages - your most recently or frequently visited sites. Yes, like Chrome already does...

The company has also added Tabs on Demand to Firefox 13. Mozilla notes: "Firefox loads tabs on demand when you restore a previous session, which makes it faster to restart Firefox windows with many tabs."

On the developer side, which is really where this initial release is aimed, SPDY support has been brought on board the browser. SPDY is the protocol successor to HTTP, no less, and it makes for swifter web page loading among sites that support it. It also encrypts everything via SSL.

Various web developer tools have also been enhanced in Firefox 13.

Source: Mozilla (opens in new tab)

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.