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First Look: Firefox 1.5 Beta 1

Mozilla's Firefox Web browser is viewed by its proponents as a David trying to unseat Microsoft's Internet Explorer Goliath. Firefox's well-designed interface, tabbed windows, and use of extensions — not to mention the fact that it's not Microsoft — has endeared it to a lot of Webphiliacs out there.

However, even its most fervent advocates (or at least most of them) have to admit that the browser has some issues. (Intrepid Firefox fan Mitch Wagner covered some of them last June in his article Firefox Users Sound Off: Fix Those Bugs!.) In response, Mozilla has finally come out with the first beta of its first major update, Firefox 1.5. According to current reports, there will be one or two more release candidates, with the final version expected out before the end of the year.



Firefox 1.5 Beta 1 is now available for Mozilla fans to try.
(Click to enlarge image.)

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.

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