More details emerge on Firefox 3

Way back in November, Mozilla released Firefox 3 to developers.

Now, it has given hints as to what we consumers may expect from the new version of the browser, codenamed "Gran Paradiso", upon its release.

Mozilla has told the BBC's World Service that the new browser has been designed around the importance of search to users.

Firefox 3 is currently in its third stage of beta testing.

In the interview, chairman of the Mozilla Foundation Mitchell Baker told BBC World Service's Digital Planet programme, that the new version will offer a combined search and bookmark tool via the url bar.

It will also support offline working.

She said: "It's clear that when people are looking for information on the web, search is the number one activity. We've devised ways to bring that power into areas that are closer to your individual life".

As the BBC explains, this means that when a user types in "cameras", for example, into the url bar, Firefox will bring up a list of the websites that the user recently visited that have cameras in their names.

"If you buy shoes, that's all you need to remember - we will use search, as you've come to expect it, to help you find the places that you have been visiting", Baker added.

Baker also said that the browser has been redesigned to be easier to use: "In terms of features, we've tried very hard not to bloat the interface but to keep it simple, the way people like it, and to have new things appear when you need them".

And following in a trend for easier switching between online and offline material (see our news on Adobe Air earlier this week) - Firefox 3 will also "remember" key data that is usually lost when an internet connection is turned off or goes down.

The BBC report adds that Firefox is currently the second most popular browser, with a 12% share.

However, Microsoft's Internet Explorer remains the most popular worldwide.

Firefox has gained more and more popularity since its launch - first as Phoenix in 2002, then as Firebird, and finally ending up as Firefox in February 2004.


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