Mozilla has announced that they have pushed back the release of Firefox 4 until 2011. Honestly, anyone who has used the beta before is aware of the issues that Mozilla has been facing with this one. It’s not so much that the technology has issues; it’s more that Mozilla is tackling a whole lot of issues at once with FF4 and perhaps its proving to be more difficult than they originally anticipated. With Firefox 4, Mozilla is trying to fundamentally change the way we browse and what we understand a web browsing experience to be and that is no small feat.
Lots of folks are panicking about this delay but personally I don’t think it’s a big deal. I think it’s better to deliver a quality product late than a buggy one on time. Firefox 4 is an ambitious endeavor that will feature a revamped UI, hardware-accelerated graphics, the new Jetpack foundation for add-ons and much more. Firefox 4 will also feature tab isolation that will allow for a particular tab to crash but not the entire browser which will be a welcome addition. Firefox 4 will also work on Google’s Android OS which should give mobile users a bit more options than Webkit, the engine that is pretty much the standard for mobile browsing.
Firefox 4 isn’t just another major release for Mozilla, strategically this is an important point for the company and the browser. While Firefox remains the second most popular browser behind Internet Explorer, both browsers have been losing market share to Google’s Chrome browser in the past few months. Not to mention the fact that IE is getting better with every new release as Microsoft finally seems to start to get that they can’t just say it’s going to be a certain way and then expect people to follow, they have options now and they will use them.
If you want to check this full story with nice pretty charts and such, hop on over to CNET.