Firefox 8 now available, ahead of official release

By on November 7, 2011, 5:30 AM

Mozilla's Firefox continues to follow its rapid release cycle with its fourth major release since Firefox 4.0 debuted last March. Firefox 8.0 is slated for release tomorrow (Nov 8th), but as usual the final build of the browser has been made available on Mozilla's FTP days in advance.

Key features and enhancements in Firefox 8 include Twitter search integration, improved add-on management and security, a new setting for reopening only one tab from a previous session, specific performance optimizations, and a much needed revision of tab handling when moving pages inside or outside the active window.

Download: Windows | Mac | Linux

Firefox adopted a rapid release plan after Google Chrome's accelerated schedule proved successful in gaining momentum when it was a complete newcomer in the browser market. You might recall, that was only part of the equation as Chrome arrived as a straightforward solution that out of the box felt very speedy compared to Firefox and IE. Since then Firefox has made great strides on the performance department.

Here's what new in Firefox 8 from the official release notes:

  • Add-ons installed by third party programs are now disabled by default
  • Added a one-time add-on selection dialog to manage previously installed add-ons
  • Added Twitter to the search bar
  • Added a preference to load tabs on demand, improving start-up time when windows are restored
  • Improved tab animations when moving, reordering, or detaching tabs
  • Improved performance and memory handling when using audio and video elements
  • Added CORS support for cross-domain textures in WebGL
  • Added support for HTML5 context menus
  • Added support for insertAdjacentHTML
  • Improved CSS hyphen support for many languages
  • Improved WebSocket support
  • Fixed several stability issues

User Comments: 25

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Guest said:

Seems faster

blimp01 said:

Link not working for me, i think the file got removed

Guest said:

FireFox totally messes up the tradition of version number, which is major.minor.release. And that is one good reason why corporations with 10000+ PCs and thousands of apps cannot use FF as the default browser - each major browser upgrade requires careful coordination and testing of web applications. At the rate FF is release "major" versions (or whatever), it's simply not feasible.

jonny702 said:

But wait!! Firefox 9 will be released early in December so you can download that and have none of your plug-ins work until they release updates for the plug-ins right around the time Firefox 10 comes out in January!


Guest said:

"And that is one good reason why corporations with 10000+ PCs and thousands of apps cannot use FF as the default browser - each major browser upgrade requires careful coordination and testing of web applications"

Not only that, but lately almost all the other browsers encounter a website that doesn't render or load properly; I ended up removing firefox from my small business clients, if only because it's a PITA to have to upgrade/test 2 browsers and flash/third party plugins rather than just 1.

Power users can still use Firefox or any other browser if they want, just the portable version set as non-default. We have too many cloud and non-cloud apps that seem to work more reliably/better integration with IE than with other browsers.

For business needs you really need browser reliability & stability. For home use, the other browsers work just fine.

mailpup mailpup said:

@blimp01, the link worked just fine for me.

Guest said:

Too little too late as far as I am concerned, I switched when Firefox 5.0 kept crashing on me.

Since then I am much happier with chrome, my only complaints being the lack of customization and the terrible history functionality.

Even so, it's a small price to pay to keep my add-ons functional and my browser stable.

Guest said:

Well if it doesn't crash daily like all the versions since 3.6 for me .. I will be happy..>So far so good.

caravel said:

The release schedule is insane, but it doesn't really affect the home user. I don't get the fuss about add ons either, though I only use noscript and adblock and neither of those have been affected as far as I know...

Interesting that people are switching to Chrome... as that's the kind of release schedule Mozilla actually copied...

Guest said:

Firefox 7 just got way faster and better than previous versions with less memory use on the run, if version 8 doesn't came better than that, I'm just very glad using Firefox 7.

Guest said:

Well I still like Firefox better than all other browsers *shrug*

Guest said:

Got to love the stupid people who get upset over their addons not working. If you weren't illiterate you would know how to use about :config to make it so your addons will always work with new versions. Takes all of 3 seconds.

Guest said:

So far it seems a bit faster, thumbs up

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm getting a "550 Permission denied" error message. Anyone else having this issue?

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:


I am having the same issue for whatever reasons.

Guest said:

I remember when a major version release was actually interesting. Seems Mozilla don't plan on any more of those and would rather just pretend their point releases are major ones instead,

Guest said:

I get 505 message too.

Guest said:

seems like mozilla withdrew the file from their ftp.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

"Improved performance and memory handling when using audio and video elements" - I sure hope so...

Guest said:

I get a '550 Permission Denied' error when attempting to download.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Looks like Mozilla pulled it. It's not up on their site and the download link doesn't work. "Error 601 (net::ERR_FTP_FAILED): Unknown error" in Chrome and "550 Permission Denied" in Firefox. Guess it wasn't ready after all, lol.


>_> I don't get many crashes in firefox. I went back to the latest 3.6 recently but the went to 4.0.1 version because my email stopped loading on 3.6 :/

Guest said:

works fine for me, none of my 15+ addons disabled and no error messages so far.

its a little bit faster. not that much, just a little bit.

i dont know if its enough to call it a "major release"...

but im still happy :)

matrix86 matrix86 said:

"Thanks for your interest in Firefox 8

We aren't quite finished qualifying Firefox 8 yet. You should check out the latest Beta.

When we're all done with Firefox 8 it will show up on"

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