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Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.6 Beta

One of the best internet browsers just got better. Is that an over exaggeration on our part? Probably, but after playing around with the latest Firefox release, we can't help but salivate just a little. A few weeks ago we reported that Mozilla would launch the first public beta of Firefox 3.6 the very next day, but the browser never reared its head. After a few delays and last minute bug stomping, the new public beta has finally arrived, promising better performance and a few cool features.

For those who want to skip all the "ooohs" and "ahhhhs" of v3.6, then take yourself here and download the latest build for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Naturally, because this isn't a locked, final build, the beta isn't exactly golden, so expect a few problems with some websites and add-ons. So far we're loving the performance boost brought on by the Gecko 1.9.2 rendering engine, but honestly, the Personas feature is addicting.

What will your browser wear today? That's the question the Personas section asks, taking "themes" to a different level by providing easy-to-install and easy-to-change skins for the browser. Rather than downloading an entire package that changes icons and the overall shape of the browser, Firefox users can choose a skin and see it in action before actually installing it into the browser interface.

Other features this beta provides include alerts concerning out-of-date plugins, full-screen video, poster frame support, WOFF font format support, and new CSS, DOM and HTML5 support. Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 also features improved JavaScript performance, startup time, and browser responsiveness. Unfortunately, those who wanted the revamped user interface will have to wait until Forefox 3.7.