new-firefox-logo_01Various outlets are reporting that Firefox 3.5 will land on your computers tomorrow, June 30. This is exciting news in the land of browsers. It’s been almost a year since we’ve seen a full release from Mozilla. Originally scheduled to just be an update, bringing the version number to 3.1, Mozilla has since revised the scheme to signal the significance of all the new features being brought to the table. By the way, did you notice the new logo?

Firefox 3.5 has unparalled support for HTML 5, which will support a more robust offline experience. This may sound ironic for a web browser, but as more applications move towards the web “" think Google Gears to access your Gmail and Zoho documents on a plane “" it will be important to be able to access your documents and tools whether or not you have an active Internet connection.

Another important feature is the TraceMonkey JavaScript engine. While Mozilla was unable to prepare this rendering engine for its 3.0 release, the engine is finally ready this time, bringing with it snappier JavaScript handling. We’ve been test driving the betas and release candidates the whole way through, and we love what we see “" online mail interfaces like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail are quick and responsive, along with many other AJAX heavy sites.

Of course, there are many other numerous tweaks behind the scenes which speed the entire browser and make it a more stable platform. Depending on who’s counting, Firefox controls between 20-25% browser share behind Microsoft’s behemoth Internet Explorer. While this release has nothing flashy to convert more new users, Firefox has been steadily gaining browser share with every passing day, and a better, updated browser will do nothing to slow it down. Head over to get Firefox tomorrow.

About The Author

Michael Kaufmann, lover of all things science and gadget, is a contributing editor at Blast. He can be reached at [email protected]

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