updated 11:50 am EDT, Wed March 16, 2011
Mozilla anticipates Firefox 4 finished March 22
Mozilla's senior engineering director Damon Sicore said later on Tuesday that the finished version of Firefox 4 should be ready on March 22. Barring any last-minute issues in a meeting late Wednesday morning, the team expected Release Candidate 1 to become the final release. In the event of a serious bug, a second release candidate would be posted with the fix and the release pushed back.
The release has had one of the longest development cycles of any Firefox version and passed through 12 betas before it reached the release candidate stage.
Firefox 4 has a much faster rendering engine that puts it into closer competition with Apple, Google, and Microsoft, as well as better support for features like HTML5. They now have more intelligent tab placement, dedicated app tabs, and an Expose-style tab organizer. WebGL is now built-in, and it should be one of the few web browsers to have truly cross-platform hardware graphics acceleration to draw pages on Linux, the Mac, and Windows.
Much is riding on the update, as Firefox has kept mostly flat share while companies like Apple and Google have been gaining.