Firefox 8 officially Released

Firefox 8 might have been ‘out in the wild’ for a few days, but today marks its official release.
Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10 will automatically upgrade to Firefox 8 at some point in the coming days – no PPAs or downloads necessary.

So what’s new?
Firefox 8, which aside from nudging the open-source browser a step closer to the version number of Internet Explorer (and trying to keep pace with Google Chrome’s), includes a handful of new features and notable changes: -
  • Twitter search engine installed by default
  • Third-party add-ons are disabled by default
  • A new ‘add-on selection dialog’ allows to verify add-ons on upgrading
  • Tabs can be loaded ‘on demand’, improving start-up times
  • HTML5 context menu support, improved memory management, and various stability fixes also feature.

Firefox 8 Improvement (Key Points of the Study)
  • Firefox 8 is 20% faster than Firefox 5 in almost every metric: start up, session restore, first paint, JavaScript execution, and even 2D canvas and 3D WebGL rendering.
  • Changes are not just under-the-hood, synthetic-benchmark, on-paper thing either: the difference between FF5 and FF8 is very noticeable.
  • Considerably faster at JavaScript execution, posting benchmark results that are about 15% faster than Firefox 5.
  • Firefox 8 is as fast or faster than the latest Dev Channel build of Chrome 14. Chrome’s WebGL implementation is still faster, but with Azure, Firefox’s 2D performance is better than Chrome. 
  • JavaScript performance is also virtually identical.

Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10 users do not need to download or add any PPAs in order to get the update: just keep an eye on update manager over the next day or so to upgrade.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and 10.10 users can install/upgrade to Firefox 8 by adding the Mozilla Stable Release PPA to their Software Sources. (Note that at the time of writing these builds are pending publication, so will be available very shortly.)

Download via FTP
Download Firefox 8 Ubuntu 32bit (tar.bz2)
Download Firefox 8 Ubuntu 64bit  (tar.bz2)
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