Mozilla Makes Plans for Firefox 5

Mozilla’s site-specific tabs mock-up 

Firefox 4 was originally scheduled for release in November of last year, but bugs and last minute features have seen the next version of Firefox delayed several months. However, Firefox 4 has finally entered the home stretch and should be available in release candidate form on February 25, with the final release a few weeks after that.

Never one to rest, Mozilla has already set its sights on Firefox 5. The company is hoping to avoid the delays that plagued Firefox 4 by moving future releases to a rolling update schedule, which resembles Google’s approach for its Chrome web browser.

Mozilla’s goal is to deliver a total of four major releases in 2011, pushing Firefox to version 7 by the end of the year. Mozilla is hoping that faster development times will mean new features can be rolled out as they are completed. Among the priorities for Firefox 5 are 64 bit support on Windows, a revamped Account Manager and the usual performance and speed improvements.

Whether or not Mozilla can meet its rather ambitious goals for the future of Firefox remains to be seen, but work has already begun on Firefox 5.

The first mockups on Mozilla’s AreWePrettyYet design showcase show off what Mozilla calls “a site-specific browser.” Widely used websites, like Twitter and Facebook, would get drop-down menus within dedicated tabs. As shown in the mockup above, the tab would add a site’s top level menu links in a drop-down menu.

Other mockup ideas include changing the search bar to use colors instead of favicons, blocking automatically installed add-ons and promoting Firefox Sync on the default about:blank page.

Naturally these mockups and possible features are very much a work in progress and there’s no guarantee that Firefox 5 will actually incorporate these ideas. There are also, thus far, no firm release dates to go along with Firefox 5’s roadmap.


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