Mozilla releases seventh Firefox 4 Beta

By on November 11, 2010, 6:50 AM
Mozilla has announced the release of a new beta build for the long-time coming Firefox 4. Unlike the last couple beta releases which mostly just tweaked a few things here and there, this one actually brings along a couple of new features to get you excited. Most notably, it incorporates the JagerMonkey JIT compiler into the new SpiderMonkey engine, which will the browser a performance boost on script-heavy sites.

According to the company's internal benchmarking, Firefox 4 Beta 7 is three times faster than the current Firefox 3.6.12 on both Kraken and Sunspider JavaScript benchmarks, and five times faster than Firefox 3.6.12 on the V8 benchmark. The updated browser is also neck-and-neck with competing browsers in terms of performance.

Firefox 4 beta 7 is a "feature complete" beta so a few other things have changed besides JavaScript rendering. There’s an upgraded URL bar which now shows the destination of hyperlinks as soon as you hover above a link, updates to the password manager and Panorama (previously known as Tab Candy), a search feature that works across open tabs, better support for hardware acceleration, and brings support for OpenType, a font format that allows for richer, more “book like” typography on the web. Lastly, Firefox 4 beta 7 also includes an add-on API that has been deemed complete enough for third-party developers to begin porting over their creations from older versions of Firefox.

If you’re already running a previous beta of Firefox 4 you should see an automatic update soon. Otherwise, if you would like to download beta 7 for Windows, Mac or Linux 32-bit 64-bit, just choose your operating system.

User Comments: 34

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Decimae said:

Looks cool. I hope it fixes my problem with youtube; I can't get youtube videos to play in FF, though I can in Chrome and that's what I use it for. Also, nice speed increase.

Edit: Yes, it works now. It also has some nice UI changes, and is noticably faster.

Edit 2: Ran an(unfair for firefox, since FF had 8 tabs open) sunspider test:


381.6ms +/- 1.9%


462.6ms +/- 17.1%

I don't think anyone can complain about firefox being slow anymore.

Cryptopsy said:

I'll surely test it soon. For sure there was place for improvement in the speed and usage % of older FF version.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I have Firefox 4.0 Beta 7 too. It indeed feels more responsive and websites do load much faster. I have Chrome and Opera installed too along with Internet Explorer 8. It's a lot of fun to see the different browsers update frequently and to see which one is the fastest to load a particular website.

7410xas said:

making mozilla money 3 times faster!

Yad Yad said:

Upgraded from Beta 6 to Beta 7.

Yeah it's faster

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm using Opera for now, but I plan to try Firefox again when it 4 is officially out. Tried to install Chrome but it just wouldn't run.

63Jax said:

just release it already, i wanna see how gpu acceleration works in web browsing

levar said:

Just upgraded I'm really noticing the difference in version 7, JaegerMonkey java script  engine definitely took a step forward! And I'm loving the url bar thingy since they removed the status bar I was quite skeptical about clicking links so I like the whole url bar replacing the status bar kinda thing. Good job!

I'm really looking forward to the final release!

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

After reading this I loaded it up, and see a great improvement over 3.whatever that I was using before. Most of my plug ins work, except Faster Fox. Speed is as good as the IE 9 beta.

I hate to say it, but Chrome has sunk to #3 in my book.

raventrickster said:

I'll have to update my VM and check that out. So far I've been waiting for the final release, or at least an RC build before I update my main computer, but I've enjoyed playing with the new version in my virtual machine.

Demons said:

If this is all true, I may have to switch back to FF. I have been using Chrome mostly in recent months. I think I will wait until the full release before I make my decision though. It's great to have all of the major browsers pushing for major speed improvements though.

Breech said:

Well, I've been holding out for the final release but after reading this I had to try it. All I can say is wow, speed is way up over 3.6.12. Very responsive browser, even more so than IE9. I think people are going to be real happy with this one. It also puts FF right back up at the top in terms of speed, something that hasn't been the case for a while. Great job on this one Mozilla.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I am unsure which is giving the other, run for their money (i.e. for being my next default browser) firefox to IE9, or IE9 to FFB ....... not a bad situation to be in I'd say .

Both FF4Bs and IE9B has been rock solid for me, and performance gains from the previous version are significant. Incidentally IE9 has almost made opera redundant for me, so it may get the boot from system if the final product turned out to be true reincarnation of IE.

Puiu Puiu said:

I said i'll install beta 7 when available and here it is. and i really like it, it's 10 time more responsive than ff3.6.

There were some compatibility problems with some add-ons but i installed beta versions of those add-ons and i also disabled the compatibility checking for others and made them work. People need to update those add-ons faster

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I told ya'll. Chrome actually feels a bit slower compared to FF4. Who would have thought they could pull this off?

For those hesitating, try it, it's definitely faster.

Serag said:

Been using Nightly builds as near-default browser for a while now, updating to every daily build and the speed and responsiveness is amazing even on my too-old laptop/PC, FF4 will be worth the wait

Side note: accidentally cleared cookies, glad to see TS make "Subscribe to thread" not checked by default

Jibberish18 said:

Installed Firefox Beta 7 Plus Adobe Flash 64-Bit and so far everything seems stable. Believe it or not, more stable than the latest version of Chrome for OSX.All of my add-ons. It feels very snappy.

speeedy6 said:

Um a little late are we. This has been out since Monday at least, just saying. I know because I've been using it since then.

ChrisG683 said:

I've also been defaulting the Minefield nightlies, and this browser kicks some serious ass

zogo said:

How many Betas are going to release?! There's too much already!

Guest said:

Why to use Limeware?.... There are many others!

VitaminC said:


Can't wait for the stable version, i have an aversion to beta software. I really like firefox, and add ons such as zotero and the like, but i had found myself using chrome more often just for its responsiveness. Glad to know i can go back to using firefox 100% of the time.

limpangel limpangel said:

Tried it but has the same annoying problem since beta 5, when Direct2D Hardware Acceleration became default under Windows 7. The font rendering is not so smooth and looks blurry, making text hard to read. If anyone is affected by this then set gfx.direct2d.disabled to true in about :config to fix it. Hope this gets fixed in the final release.

Other than that it works pretty smoothly.

Chazz said:

I've been using the Firefox 4 beta since it was in alpha and called firefox 3.7 and I love the features that they're adding to the browser. I can't comment on this though...solely because I don't notice any difference. To me, browsers are very fast nowadays...I don't notice any speed improvements. Its sorta like going from 90 fps in a game to 130 fps. It's good I guess? Now just give me a bigger monitor so I can make the added horsepower work for me. That's why I got a 30" monitor and it makes me very interested in the upcoming changes in videocards.

So in short, perhaps Java can be used extensively now that browsers found their e-peen ruler?

ruzveh said:

These datas are good to read but does anyone knows whether it will slow the computer whos using old PC like me using P4 1.7ghz? How does it fare on older PC's? This is the main reason behind not switching or upgrading to newer versions of the softwares. This is where i like using older versions and dont feel the need to upgrade like you guys where u sit on a fast Intel Core PC. Certainly companys have forgotten us in mind :)

Razerblade said:

I have been switching between chrome 8 and Firefox 4 beta 7. They are both very good browsers, hard to choose between them really. I will keep testing them both to try and find the best one. Oh the choices!

err said:

I like the last updates for firefox but the plugin container exe is killing my pc at work(which the it will not update)

blimp01 said:

I wont ever use anything but IE, i know im stubborn LOL

uttaradhaka said:

Beta 7. We're getting closer to the release. There is a lot hanging on the release of this browser. This will determine if firefox can hold on to its market position or lose it to Chrome and others..

I personally am rooting for Firefox..

Jibberish18 said:

Honestly I'm hoping they make major improvements to it before it comes out because at the moment, I'm not too impressed. That's just me though.

IanDSamson said:

What I don't like about it is the lack of the status bar at the bottom of the frame. I like seeing the percentage of download and other items. I cannot find where to turn it on. I sent a feedback "sad" message but of course no response. Otherwise, not many problems with this version and I have not tested everything, every aspect of the release. Some items have to be clicked on more than once to get them to start. I like the F1 add-on, it's better than AddThis plug-in but not as extensive.

nismo91 said:

it's much much faster than the beta 6. some appearance change too. the beta 6 really struggles when opening .pdf file and many video tabs.

rizalp said:

Looks great. Can't wait to see the final version

anadarco7 said:

This version seems to be hanging always in Win7.

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