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Firefox 1.5 Beta 1

Firefox 1.5 Beta 1 is now available for Mozilla fans to try.

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Users who are expecting a radical overhaul are in for a disappointment. Mozilla obviously (and justifiably) believes that what ain't broke shouldn't be fixed, and so it has simply added some new features, both in the interface and behind the scenes.

Check Your Extensions At The Door
When you go to the download page, Mozilla warns would-be beta testers that Firefox 1.5 Beta 1 is not the final version, and that if you're not comfortable playing with betas, you should stick with version 1.0.6 for now. I'd add that if you would feel unhappy without your favorite extensions, you might want to hold off as well.

Mozilla cleverly included a wizard that checks out your extensions for compatibility with the beta. I had four extensions installed — Adblock, Forecastfox, IE View and Google Toolbar — and of these, both Google Toolbar and IE View were found not to be compatible with the beta and were automatically disabled. (When you are told which extensions have been disabled, Firefox offers a "Check now" button so you can look for updates to the extension that might work with the new release.)

However, the other two extensions didn't seem to work either. Forecastfox wasn't on my menu toolbar, where I had put it; I tried changing its location, but I couldn't seem to find it. Adblock seemed to be there, but was a bit quirky — the only thing it blocked was a video feed, but it couldn't seem to find any advertisements. The moral of this particular story is that if you depend on your extensions, wait until Firefox 1.5 is out of beta.

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