Firefox 4 final release on March 22

After twelve betas, one release candidate and a year of development, Mozilla plans to release the final version of Firefox 4 on March 22 around 7AM PDT.

Tech blog ConceivablyTech spotted the date on Mozilla's official release schedule yesterday and a message to developers from Mozilla senior engineering director Damon Sicore indicated the first and only Firefox 4 release candidate would likely ship as the final version of the browser. Firefox 4 RC1 was made available on March 9.

''As of now, there are no known issues that would stop us from shipping RC1 as final...March 22nd is the day we would ship.  Both IT and Marketing have indicated that March 22nd is an acceptable final launch date.  If at any time we discover issues that would block final release, we would issue an RC2 as soon as possible, reset the ship date, and communicate to everyone,'' he said.

Despite Mr Sicore's mention of the possibility of a second release candidate, Mozilla planning notes indicate the company would most likely push Firefox 4 out the door on March 22 and follow-up with an incremental update to fix any minor issues.

''Several issues have been identified as potential ridealongs, meaning we might do a 4.0.1 release,'' the notes said.

The final version of Firefox 4 was originally scheduled to ship in November 2010, but repeated delays saw the release schedule revised on more than one occasion. Given that rather chequered history, it remains to be seen if Firefox 4 will actually ship on March 22 as planned.

Based on the Gecko 2.0 engine, Firefox 4 will bring an updated user interface, new ways to organize tabs, a revamped add-on manager, support for HTML5 video standards, multitouch support on Windows 7 and a range of performance and security enhancements.

Mozilla has indicated a desire to move to a faster release schedule following Firefox 4, with mozilla.org co-founder and Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich telling developers users could be running the fifth version of Firefox just months after Firefox 4 is released.

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82 Comments

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mattburles is right. I've just downloaded a recent candidate build of Firefox 4.0 RC2.
So RC1 will NOT be the final release of Firefox 4.0 after all.
The March 22 release date of Firefox 4 is definitely in serious jeopardy now.

well Matthew Jones, start updating the article when Mozilla announces a postponement of the final Firefox 4.0 release.

busyanuj said,
am I the only one who has all three - FF4, Chrome as well as IE9 installed?

Nope. i got FF4/IE9/Opera 11/Chrome installed but i am considering uninstalling Chrome though.

but i been using Firefox since my primary browser since a little prior to v1.0.

taken from the developer forum in mozilla:

All,

Two issues popped up (hilariously, almost immediately after Damon sent his email) which have caused us to take two very small, very isolated fixes in order to better protect Firefox 4 users. These fixes will be included in Firefox 4 RC2 for Windows, OSX and Linux (which should be available tomorrow) and Firefox 4 RC1 for Android.

There is no change required to our schedule. We still expect to release the final version of Firefox 4 for Windows, OSX and Linux on March 22nd as planned.

cheers,
mike

Multilanguage support is the only the i thik Chrome does better than firefox.
i only ever run chrome when i go to russian only torrent sites..

Great News !
I was starting to like chrome as my second browser but they made some update
that screwed up the theme i had installed for it.. which had a black carbon style background
and then after one of the updates it now only shows the theme on the top 1 inch of the screen
and the rest is a vast black hole of piercing bright white empty space to stare at.

which brings me to my point..
FF owns ALL browser because it is the only one that allows me to override color settings
for ALL web pages i open.. I want every page on the whole internet to all look the same.
Im not happy unless i see every page with blue links and a black background..
+ a black ff theme (black stratini) + black windows xp x64 theme + google enhanced black ff script
Adblock Plus + Fission + Flagfox + Location Bar + Optimize google & GreaseMonkey

Gawd i love Firefox ..been a real fan & user since around 2003/2004 straight
unlike a lot of kids that just jump around to whatever is popular at the moment

I also gave up Firefox for about 6 months last year but with latest betas and specially the release candidate, I went back to it and have not looked back ever since...
Bye Chrome... Hello Foxy Browser again

Scar said,
Only took a decade, not bad.

Firefox 5 in 2063

you are wrong, there are already Firefox 5 UI concepts on the web, go look for some, its said to come to us in around the summer of 2011, or so, they will have a faster development cycle now that Firefox 4 is live

chrome is the fastest all around, IE9 is a great backup for compatibility. Firefox now sits in no man's land.

Anyone else have problems when shutting Firefox down. It seems to stay running for a while so I can't re-open it again until a kill the process in Task Manager? I have had this problem for a long time starting with FF 3.6 and it still seems to happen in FF4.

tmorris1 said,
Anyone else have problems when shutting Firefox down. It seems to stay running for a while so I can't re-open it again until a kill the process in Task Manager? I have had this problem for a long time starting with FF 3.6 and it still seems to happen in FF4.

Well if you monitor the process in Task Manger it does seem to stay running for a few moments after you close it as you can see it slowly freeing up more memory. but it eventually closes within 5-10seconds or so as once the process disappears from the Task Manger's processes tab then you can start it back up like normal.

ThaCrip said,

Well if you monitor the process in Task Manger it does seem to stay running for a few moments after you close it as you can see it slowly freeing up more memory. but it eventually closes within 5-10seconds or so as once the process disappears from the Task Manger's processes tab then you can start it back up like normal.


I hate this. Sometimes it takes 30 seconds for me. This is the stuff that has drove me from Firefox. I used to use it exclusively.

tmorris1 said,

I hate this. Sometimes it takes 30 seconds for me. This is the stuff that has drove me from Firefox. I used to use it exclusively.

Yeah, it can sometimes take a while but i don't close my browsers to often so it's usually not a issue for me.

it seems to mostly get worse the longer the browser is open. if you only have it running a little bit and close it, it usually closes almost right away. but if you having it running for hours and hours and days then closing it usually results in those long delays before the browser fully closes.

Edited by ThaCrip, Mar 17 2011, 3:50pm :

tanjiajun_34 said,
IE9 vs Firefox 4
I am betting on IE9...

I tried them both and I do like IE9 better. Firefox 4s UI already looks terribly outdated, and the ugly orange menu button doesn't help much. IE9 feels much faster also, to me it's no contest.

"Hell... It's about time."
- Tychus Findlay

But seriously, it has been a while since last big release. This one shall be interesting...

eliokh said,
the new fb photo viewer doesnt work on rc... lol..

waiting for the final though

tbh im glad the new fb photo viewer doesn't work, that thing is horrid to use

The fact is Firefox 4 has been very usable since beta 7, the beta title scares a lot of people off but for those of us who jumped on board we've had a frequently updated browser for the last 4 months.

The long development cycle, frequent beta releases hasn't been a bad thing, it's been what makes the RC and eventually the release such a good piece of software.

might be just me, but ever since i installed IE9 RTM, FF4 constantly keeps crashing on what seem random events. however hope this wont be an issue with FF4's RTM dont want chrome as my scecundary browser

Hopefully they fix the intermittent freezing and some of the memory leaks in the next update. I upgraded to 4.0 RC1 and now it's using much more memory than ever before. Back in 3.6.xx, it used at the most, around 350MB. Now, usage regularly hovers around 500MB, and on a few occasions, it's gone up to 800MB!

MightyJordan said,
Hopefully they fix the intermittent freezing and some of the memory leaks in the next update. I upgraded to 4.0 RC1 and now it's using much more memory than ever before. Back in 3.6.xx, it used at the most, around 350MB. Now, usage regularly hovers around 500MB, and on a few occasions, it's gone up to 800MB!

that weird in Rc1 i have 8 tabs and only 200 mb

try to make a new profile and disable addons then see if it still leaks

cause i can't seem to produce those high ram

DaRkMaDnEsS said,

that weird in Rc1 i have 8 tabs and only 200 mb

try to make a new profile and disable addons then see if it still leaks

cause i can't seem to produce those high ram


maybe he's looking at the peak memory column in task manager.
even after leaving FF4 on for days on end with anywhere between 5 and 30 tabs and multiple windows running i havent seen it go passed ~300mb, then again i dont use any addons outside flash and java.

MightyJordan said,
Hopefully they fix the intermittent freezing and some of the memory leaks in the next update. I upgraded to 4.0 RC1 and now it's using much more memory than ever before. Back in 3.6.xx, it used at the most, around 350MB. Now, usage regularly hovers around 500MB, and on a few occasions, it's gone up to 800MB!

There is memory leak related to ABP. Try disabling it and see if your memory usage improves.

SoapyHamHocks said,

There is memory leak related to ABP. Try disabling it and see if your memory usage improves.

OK, I'll try that tonight. Just in case that is the problem, is there any alternatives to Ad Block Plus?

SoapyHamHocks said,

There is memory leak related to ABP. Try disabling it and see if your memory usage improves.

As far as memory goes even with a memory leak your probably better off leaving it on, without it you will use more resources loaded ads on each page.

SoapyHamHocks said,

There is memory leak related to ABP. Try disabling it and see if your memory usage improves.

No luck. I disabled it, and it still used just as much memory.

i'm just waiting updates of addons that aren't compatible with version 4.Still waiting for quickjava and image toolbar addon for a new version

Samurizer said,

It's a piece of software, not your spouse. Sheesh.

Some people treat software/hardware as spouses if they can't get the real thing you know.

Morisato said,

Some people treat software/hardware as spouses if they can't get the real thing you know.

<insert rimshot here>

Firefox 4 Rc1 is a massive improvement from 3.6, starts up faster and browses faster I think it's great, took a while to get the UI to how I like it but now it's done it's great

"Several issues have been identified as potential ridealongs, meaning we might do a 4.0.1 release," the notes said.

After all this time, they cannot afford to leave minor bugs.

Aethec said,

After all this time, they cannot afford to leave minor bugs.

After a little over a year? Sure they can. Chrome users are not going to switch back no matter what Mozilla does anyways.

SoapyHamHocks said,

After a little over a year? Sure they can. Chrome users are not going to switch back no matter what Mozilla does anyways.

I would switch back if they could catch up with the general speed, lightness, and usability of Chrome while maintaining the ability to add rich functionality. Firefox themes and extensions have much more depth than those for Chrome, and it seems to handle large numbers of tabs better.

SoapyHamHocks said,

After a little over a year? Sure they can. Chrome users are not going to switch back no matter what Mozilla does anyways.

i used Chrome a lot, but im concerned that Google does stuff with my data and now i deleted Chrome and use Firefox 4.0 RC and dont plan to install Chrome ever again, unless there are drastic changes(UI, engine, etc.)

Aethec said,

After all this time, they cannot afford to leave minor bugs.

Nearly every large program in the world is filled with minor bugs.

Aethec said,

After all this time, they cannot afford to leave minor bugs.

Uh.

Software development companies usually release software with known minor bugs. Regardless if the company is named Microsoft, Mozilla, Google, or Opera. Bug trackers are used at these companies to track known bugs, and assist in the decisions as for when to release a build or not.

So in advance to a proper launch, the question is not whether there are bugs (there usually are, even known ones), but whether the bugs are deemed to be serious enough or not.

In the Firefox project, there are hundreds and hundreds of known bugs at this moment, as one can easily verify with Bugzilla. In the Chromium project, there are also hundreds of known bugs. If Microsoft and Opera used a public bug tracker, you'd most likely see it had hundreds of known bugs as well.

~Johnny said,

It might be a bit late, but it's certainly not too little.

And it seems to have much better CSS3 support than any other browser

dancedar said,
Too little, too late.

Meh, we shall see. Although I love Google Chrome, I still can not use it as my primary browser at work since it's proxy settings are tied to Internet Explorer. Why does that matter? Because I use my own proxy at work for getting unrestricted internet but still need to use my work proxy for certain web apps. I can't keep switching between the two proxies every time I need to do something. It's easier to use Internet Explorer for work related stuff and Firefox for my personal stuff.

dancedar said,
Too little, too late.

Yeah but FF has a solid fan base, they put up with the heavy, buggy kind of way it works which apparently this version has gotten rid off. Me I'm sticking with Opera and sometimes Chrome, both cleaner, stable enough and ohh and visual pleasing too.

Jan said,
So rushed.

i dont know about that, i think Mozilla were dragging behind for a while and it was quite the time they released an updated product that will be a rival to Chrome, Opera, IE9 and whatever other competitors are there ;D

i honestly believe that Firefox 4 will take over what Mozilla lost over the years, and Firefox 5 will blow everyone's mind

UndergroundWire said,

Really. So is Chrome rushed as well? How many version of Chrome came out between Firefox major releases?

you can compare those, Chrome is different from Firefox in terms of development and Official Firefox 4 would be at the same level as Latest Chrome at 22 March

UndergroundWire said,

Really. So is Chrome rushed as well? How many version of Chrome came out between Firefox major releases?

you can compare those, Chrome is different from Firefox in terms of development and Official Firefox 4 would be at the same level as Latest Chrome at 22 March

UndergroundWire said,

Really. So is Chrome rushed as well? How many version of Chrome came out between Firefox major releases?


I'm pretty sure that he was sarcastic. After 12 betas and a RC, he must have been.

Northgrove said,

I'm pretty sure that he was sarcastic. After 12 betas and a RC, he must have been.

I was being sarcastic. . But you see what I am saying? If the program seems to work fine without anything broken and lots of improvements, then it would be ignorant to say it's rushed.

Gabe3 said,
looking forward to it

I'll wait for the first patch of Firefox 4 before switching -- hopefully, all my addons will be updated for Firefox 4 by that time.