Mozilla’s latest web browser steps into the ring to trade punches with Chrome and Internet Explorer

 by Tom Jowitt

Mozilla has officially released Firefox 30.0, adding security fixes and incremental updates rather than any major updates like the redesigned interface included with version 29.
According to the release notes, the most significant change is that the sidebars button in the browser now allows for quicker access to social, bookmark and history sidebars. It should also be noted that plug-ins are no longer activated by default.
Mozilla has delivered a number of other changes aimed at the developer community, and has also included a number of security fixes as well.

What’s New?

Firefox 3 “You can make Firefox your own through the beautifully designed and powerful customisation menu,” said Mozilla in a blog. “You can add or move any feature, social integration service or add-on into the menu and when you’re done you can also choose from thousands of Themes to transform the look of your browsing experience.”
“Firefox is also first to make it easy for Facebook, Delicious, Weibo and others to integrate their services directly into the browser,” it said. “Features like the Firefox sidebar, social sharing options and toolbar notification buttons help you stay connected… Now you can also add a new sidebar button into your customisable menu so access to social, bookmark and history sidebars has never been easier.”
And in line with the football World Cup beginging today in Brazil, Firefox said that users can make the most of their world cup experience with
“Today, we are excited to introduce the slick and informative Firefox sidebar, which brings up-to-the-minute soccer news direct from Brazil straight into your browser,” it said. “You can activate the sidebar in Firefox and have all the world cup action including breaking news, exclusive features and real-time scores at your fingertips.”

Troubled Times?

The new release comes after a difficult period for Mozilla.
Former CEO Brendan Eich was forced to resign in April because of the furious backlash after emerged he contributed $1,000 to a campaign against gay marriage in California in 2008. Chris Beard was quickly appointedas its interim chief executive.
Last month, Mozilla reluctantly said it would be implementing the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) specificationused to protect copyrighted content, even though the organisation “philosophically opposes” such restrictions. It said it had no choice in the matter, if it wanted to prevent users from abandoning the Firefox browser, but some users said the move was a “betrayal”.
The company has also had to reassures users over the Firefox ad programme, which is intended to deliver advertisements on the page the browser displays when a new tab is opened.
Meanwhile, besides these desktop controversies, the Mozilla Foundation continues its smartphone push. Today itrevealed the Firefox OS smartphones based on the turnkey reference design revealed at Mobile World Congress (MWC) earlier in the year. These $25 smartphones will be released in India later in 2014.

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